A Florida man has been arrested in Rockmart, Ga., for violating the city begging ordinance.
Rockmart police received a call to the Raceway convenience store on Saturday evening with a complaint of a black male pestering customers and begging for money.
According to Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrell's, the department had received the same call with the same description on Friday but were unable to locate the suspect upon their arrival.
Rockmart Police Sgt. Walters responded to the call Saturday evening and located the suspect in front of the nearby Walmart store. Sgt. Walters questioned the suspect and asked if he had been begging for money on Friday. The man admitted that he was at the location on Friday and stated that he was asking customers for a ride.
The suspect, Lorn Dejuan Hutchinson, 41, of 975 Sally Street in Palm Bay, Fla. had outstanding warrants from Riverdale Ga. and Torrance Ca. but neither agency would extradite him.
Hutchinson was placed under arrest and charged on a city ordinance for begging and remains in custody at the time of this publication. Hutchinson was also given a criminal trespass notice for Raceway at the request of the store manager.
The following information was taken from the municipal code of Rockmart, Ga. Sec. 12-5; in reference to begging and soliciting alms.
Accosting means approaching or speaking to someone in such a manner as would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm or the commission of a criminal act upon his person, or upon property in his immediate possession.
Ask, beg or solicit means and includes, without limitation, the spoken, written or printed word or such other acts as are conducted in furtherance of the purpose of obtaining alms.
Forcing oneself upon the company of another means continuing to request, beg or solicit alms from a person after that person has made a negative response, blocking the passage of the individual addressed or otherwise engaging in conduct which could reasonably be construed as intended to compel or force a person to accede to demands.
(b) Prohibited activity. It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit money or other things of value:
On private property if the owner, tenant, or lawful occupant has asked the person not to solicit on the property, or has posted a sign clearly indicating that solicitations are not welcome on the property;
- Within 15 feet of the entrance to or exit from any public toilet facility:
- Within 15 feet of an automatic teller machine, provided that when an automated teller machine is located within an automated teller machine facility, such distance shall be measured from the entrance or exit of the automated teller machine facility;
- Within 15 feet of any pay telephone, provided that when a pay telephone is located within a telephone booth or other facility, such distance shall be measured from the entrance or exit of the telephone booth or facility;
- In any public transportation vehicle, or in any bus or subway station, or within 15 feet of any bus stop or taxi stand;
- From any operator of a motor vehicle that is in traffic on a public street; provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to services rendered in connection with emergency repairs requested by the owner or passengers of such vehicle;
- From any person who is waiting in line for entry to any building, public or private, including, but not limited to, any residence, business, or athletic facility; or
- Within 15 feet of the entrance or exit from a building, public or private, including, but not limited to, any residence, business, or athletic facility.
(c) Prohibited behavior. It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit money or other things of value;
- By accosting another; or
- By forcing oneself upon the company of another.
Arrest reports do not reflect the guilt or innocence of the individuals listed. All parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Not every arrest/charge leads to a conviction. A conviction or acquittal is determined by the court system.
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You may contact Polk County Crime Examiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.