Archive for Friday, December 30, 2005

Homeless man arrested

December 30, 2005


Lawrence Police officers this afternoon arrest Robert "Simon" Gilmore, a homeless man, at Seventh and New Hampshire streets after fielding several calls about him being in the street and putting himself in danger.

Lawrence Police officers this afternoon arrest Robert "Simon" Gilmore, a homeless man, at Seventh and New Hampshire streets after fielding several calls about him being in the street and putting himself in danger.

Robert "Simon" Gilmore, a homeless man whose often seen sleeping downtown in front of Weaver's department store or the Replay Lounge, was arrested early this afternoon at the intersection of New Hampshire and Seventh streets.

"He was in the middle of the street," said Lawrence police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward. "We got a call from someone couldn't get around him because of the oncoming traffic. The next car couldn't get around him either."

When police arrived, Ward said, Gilmore "actively and passively resisted" the officers. He was later charged with obstruction, disorderly conduct, and battery. He was taken to Douglas County Jail where he remains.

"The last thing we want to do is arrest someone in his situation, but the officers have no choice," Ward said.

Gilmore, 48, is visually impaired. He has been hospitalized several times for mental illness.


Ragingbear 12 years, 2 months ago

They need to have him defined as mentally incompetant, a potential danger to himself or others, and make him a ward of the state. I know Simon, and he is not in touch with reality very well. Sometimes the police will arrest him on some little charge so he won't freeze to death when it's 15 below outside.

A fixture of 15+ years. Yet another example of how poorly Lawrence is handling it's extreme homeless situation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 2 months ago

I saw him earlier today walking down the middle of Barker Street. Must have been just before he got picked up. He says he walks in the street because the sidewalks are too bad for his poor vision.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

Anyone else notice that "whose" is used incorrectly in the first sentence of the article?

lonesome_breeze 12 years, 2 months ago

Why is this a newstory..people get arrested all the time... I just don't see how this is newsworthy.

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

you beat me to it lonesome-i can't for the life of me figure out why this is breaking news. sad deal.

The_Analyst 12 years, 2 months ago

All I can say is that I am glad this is the best breaking news that JW can come up with. This says a lot about our town. Lets hope that we never have breaking news like KC. Every time I watch the KC news, someone is getting killed or something is burning.

Ragingbear 12 years, 2 months ago

Our local media sucketh, yea verily. Poor grammer, typos, and lack of anything worth covering. I have noticed that the last week has been especially bad, with one or two local stories, a bunch of sports, and then stuff regurgitated off CNN.

But there are people who worry about Simon, and the police aren't supposed to tell you if they have been arrested or not, so at least now we know.

corporate_sleaze 12 years, 2 months ago

Can one of the "long-timers" to Lawrence offer some insight as to when & why Lawrence started to have homeless problems.

It seems that for a midwestern town the size of Lawrence it has far more homeless shelters/people than other similar communities.

Surely, they all can't be local, born and raised. Where do they come from? How do they get here?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 2 months ago

Marion, this isn't quite a first, but I agree with you on this one.

"Simon" is probably smarter than most of us posting here (yes, even including a smartass like me.) It's a shame that humanity will never know what contributions he might have made in a society more understanding of the challenges he has to confront that the rest of us can't even begin to understand.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago

Marion, the cycle you are describing for Robert "simon" gilmore's history is very common. the antipsychotic meds often have some really bad side-effects. and, it often is very self-reassuring for schizophrenics to quit their meds, stop the side-effects, and feel like they are cured and don't need to take the meds anymore.
lots of schizophrenics go through this. I think there's some investigation of "depot" antipsychotics, which would be placed under the skin and would work for months or years, to improve medication compliance by schizophrenics.
somebody really should have declared him a danger to himself!

and, he's right about the sidewalks! they are bad!

christie 12 years, 2 months ago

The most troubling thing I find in this story is the incorrect use of the word WHOSE in the first sentence, as pointed out by BankBoy.

Deb Engstrom 12 years, 2 months ago

I just happened to be downtown Wednesday and ran into Simon in front of Weaver's. I remarked about his change in location from the Replay and he said, "It's about time for another news story and I thought I'd return to the scene of the last one." Quite prophetic. He also told me several stories about the police trying to move him along and how they had been discussing the futility of arresting him and then having the charges dropped in municipal court, etc. etc. Simon always seems to be "in touch" when I talk to him, but some of his actions and behaviors indicate otherwise. There isn't a good solution for Simon -- many of us have offered him places to stay and he refuses. Jail is not the place for him, but the few times he has been screened he has not been eligible for an involuntary commitment. The one time he did go to Osawatomie, he was back out on the streets of Lawrence in just a week or so under Bert Nash supervision and I was his "contact" person. I wish I had a better answer, but in his own way, Simon is doing just fine.

Kookamooka 12 years, 2 months ago

This story is newsworthy because so many people know of this person. He is a mini-celebrity in town. I am always interested to know what happens to our cities more colorful characters. Like, what ever happened to the man from India who used to carry a yellow blanket? He was an amazing walker. Or the TAN MAN? Did he die of skin cancer like most people thought he would? These people are important because everyone in town has seen them. When I met a Lawrencian in France we could carry on a conversation about the tan man and feel homesick. It was like we had the same aquaintance--and some really good stories.

matahari 12 years, 2 months ago

I'd be more interested in hearing Simons' version of his story than any of yours...he has a voice I have heard it, a kind person (and in my opinion an intelligent man) Does anyone listen to Simon about what should be done about Simon? Has he ever endangered his life or anyone elses? He seems to be a fairly happy man to me. He is a human being, and does have choices...I understand that he feels it safer (due to his eyesight problem) to walk via street than sidewalk..thank you Simon, for all the smiles (and love) you have shared~

Purell 12 years, 2 months ago

Deb, good note.

Marion, Do the world a favor, shut up and go away. You sound like you want us to believe you're na advocate for Gilmore, but then you insult others for their opinions and use "nuts" and "crazy" to describe him. Some advocate. You did make me laugh when you told another poster they were tooting their own horn. If that isn't the kettle...

Your over-detailed posts are a waste of space. Speaking of space. Your spacing between every couple of sentences is annoying to scroll through as well. Instead of wasting your whole day posting on all these web sites. Why not get a job or be a volunteer somewhere.

"Thanks Marion" seems a bit compulsive as well.

mr_sassy_pantsss 12 years, 2 months ago

To Purell,

I agree with you completely. Most of the time I regard the posts by -- Marion -- as nonconsequential gibberish at best. I suspect he spends twice as much time rereading and admiring his own posts as he does writing them. He's such a buffoon.

gccs14r 12 years, 2 months ago

The fellow from India, IIRC, was a PhD candidate in English before he went koo-koo for cocoa puffs. I saw him many times walking on 59 between Lawrence and Ottawa, until his daughter had enough and wouldn't let him stay with her any more. During the last 18-24 months of his life, he took to writing anti-woman screeds in chalk on the sidewalks on campus and sleeping by a heat exhaust behind Dole.

When he died, some students wrote tributes to him in chalk on the sidewalks.

Kookamooka 12 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the feedback on some of my favorite Lawrence legends. I'm trying to decide what my schtick will be when I go "koo koo for coco puffs". Should I go the way of my great grandmother, die my hair bright blue and carry my belongings in big Macy's sacks or should I decorate my wheelchair with battery powered Christmas lights, wear a tube top and go disco-ing every night! I like the second option. In fact...I'm not even going to wait until I go crazy. I may already be there. Why waste it!

oldkansas 12 years, 2 months ago

At least 30 years ago, I managed a convenience store on Massachusetts. Where I met Tan Man, twice a day he stopped for refills in his large paper coffee cup. Warm memories of the timid, mild and gentle man have lasted all these years. Often thought of him during the years and wondered if he was alright. Back in the early 70's he ran all year round in shorts and I don't remember if he wore a shirt. Finally I found current information of his life, with a search. Tried before without results. Want to thank the citizens of Lawrence who continue to care and protect Robert.

ChasL 12 years, 2 months ago

The "walker" was hiking around Tuttle Creek in the mid 80's.............wonder how many miles he had on those feet when he passed???

Linda Endicott 12 years, 2 months ago

Though I don't always agree with Marion, his posts are always intelligent and passionate. He isn't afraid to say what he thinks and stop harping on him...your broken record is much more annoying than anything I've ever heard Marion say.

I don't know Simon, but I hope somehow he can get the help he needs. And Marion is right, a lot of people who are mentally ill think they're just fine, and the rest of us are the nut cases...they don't want to take those nasty meds, and see no need for it...this kind of thinking doesn't just pertain to schizophrenia, either. It can apply to bipolar, depression, PTSD...the list goes on...

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