Outlaw panhandling locally

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 12:06 a.m.
I am annoyed by people panhandling along the I-75. Every afternoon I exit the interstate to get onto Archer Road, and there is usually a man standing there with his little cardboard sign begging for money. This is pathetic.
If you look up into the trees as you sit on the ramp waiting for the light to change, you will notice hundreds and hundreds of beer cans. These panhandlers are not using the money you give them for food and shelter, they are using it to buy beer and cigarettes. These people will stand in front of your window looking as pitiful as they can until you either give them money or shake your head no.
Recently, there was a young man in his late 20s standing there, and he would walk up to the car and shove his sign against the drivers side window. He came close to my car and I picked up my phone and began to dial and he moved to the car behind me.
In Pinellas County, panhandling is against the law. I feel it should be against the law here as well. These panhandlers are a hazard to motorists. People actually stop the flow of traffic to give these panhandlers money.
Perhaps they should go down to day labor and get money the honest way: earn it.

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