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Panhandler arrested for sexual threat

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News from this moring's police briefing: ¢ Panhandler arrested: A Lawrence woman told police a panhandler followed her and made a threat of sexual violence to her early this morning after she gave him part of a sandwich. The 21-year-old woman said that the man approached her about 1:30 a.m. outside Jimmy John's sandwich shop, 922 Mass., and asked her to buy him a sandwich. The woman told police she went into the store, bought a turkey sandwich, gave the man half, and started walking west. She told police the man followed her to roughly the 900 block of Ohio Street, came up behind her and made a threatening sexual comment. She started running and found a police officer in the area. Officers found a 48-year-old man matching the description at the Presto Phillips 66, 602 W. Ninth St, and arrested him for making a criminal threat. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and told officers he hadn't eaten for a few days, according to a report. He denied threatening the woman.Other reports:¢ Sex-crime report: A report of an attack involving a wooden club led police to a man suspected of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl multiple times in the past month.Around 7 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a report that two people were chasing a 29-year-old man with a wooden club or baseball bat in a neighborhood in southeast Lawrence. Officers made contact with the two suspects, males ages 15 and 28, who said they had gone to find the 29-year-old after learning that he may have had sexual contact with the girl, who is a family member of the 15-year-old. Police took a statement from the girl. As of today, the case remained under investigation, and the man had not been arrested. Police would not say exactly where the chase or the alleged sexual contact happened, citing concerns for the girl's privacy.¢ Bicyclist treated and released: A bicyclist injured Monday in a wreck at Ninth and New Hampshire Streets has been treated and released from Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The cyclist, Peggy L. Manka, 47, of Lawrence, was riding her bike west across the crosswalk on New Hampshire Street shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday when she was struck by a southbound Subaru Outback driven by Courtney N. Gray, 24, Lawrence. Gray was cited for a stop-sign violation. -Contributed by [Eric Weslander.][1] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander

Comments

applefarmer 8 years, 4 months ago

I have to agree, the problem is out of hand and it's not limited to night time any more. I've been downtown midmorning and had people asking for money while they sit there smelling of stale beer! I've seen the after effects of people using the downtown area as a open toilet in the doorways and alleys and helped pick up the empty whiskey bottles left strewn around.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

That's nice that she bought him a turkey sandwich.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

not to be mean but why was she out there at 1:30 alone? but both these guys in these reports need locked up, unless they are not guilty but I am not holding my breath on that one.

badger 8 years, 5 months ago

Regarding the second report, I have to say that a certain part of me is happy to see that the justice that flows from a protective older brother is alive and well. Though I don't know that 'chasing someone with a baseball bat' is the right way to handle it, per se, I do respect the fact that he's trying to look out for his little sister.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

Panhandler arrested: This sums up nicely what so many of us have been posting for so many months. We hear so much about how these guys are suffering out there without food, etc. His problem wasn't resources: he had plenty of funds for BOOZE. He just chose not to spend those resources on food. This guy is probably already back on the street.

Sex-crime report: What warms my heart about this: the cops didn't arrest the guys. Nothing in the story even suggests that the cop took away the bat! Statements were taken... then I guess they resumed their search with their bat? Happy hunting, brothers. Ya gotta take care of sis. Too many guys are hurting too many women in Lawrence. ENOUGH!

blessed3x 8 years, 5 months ago

Panhandler=homeless?

Is that the new PC term?

BJ 8 years, 5 months ago

"He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol".

Another "guest" of Loring Henderson and his spineless staff at the "wet" shelter aka drunk tank that we ALL pay for; if not in taxes, then soon with your life.

kujeeper 8 years, 5 months ago

We just need to load the homeless in one of those empty T buses and drive them over to Missouri and drop them off. Better for Lawrence and they will blend right in with Missouri.

Confrontation 8 years, 5 months ago

I sure part of the article would have been, "Rapist found beat to death with a bat. Police don't know and don't care who did it. Justice has been served!"

Ahhhh, wishful thinking, I know.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 5 months ago

well it was an honest question, I would not be out alone at 1:30 to many nut cases out there.

jayhawkster 8 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Morgss 8 years, 5 months ago

I thought the story went like this, Hey lady, I haven't had a bite in a week, so she bit him. He was probably mad because she ordered Turkey, JJs makes a tuna sub to die for.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

BJ:

As opposed as I am to a wet shelter, I'd never call the staff spineless. I can only imagine the crap they put up with over there.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of rape, did ya'll see "Broken Trail" on AMC? Awesome. Thomas Hayden Church busted in the door, pulled the guy off the girl and said "you like spoiling women?!" and promptly shot off the dude's thumbs. Awesome.

jennifermarti 8 years, 5 months ago

Everyone just needs to stop giving these losers money or food and maybe that would help. When they are able to get people to buy them a sandwich and give them money what they are doing is working and they will just keep coming back for more. As far as I am concerned these shelters and all the sympathy for these losers is out of control. They are ruining downtown and it would be nice if the city would step up and do something about it.

jennifermarti 8 years, 5 months ago

What is it going to take to do something about this? My husband and I and our two little boys used to go downtown every Friday night for a slice of pizza, butnot any more. It has gotten so bad that we would be approached by at least 2 homeless, drunk pieces of crap every Friday. So we have just started going other places. We have been threatened time and time again and I have even called the police and still nothing is done. I don't even like the idea of these drunks being anywhere near my children. It just makes me sick and what can you do?

MaryKatesPillStash 8 years, 5 months ago

Uh, if you are uncomfortable in Lawrence, Kansas at 1:30 am, and you are over 21, you are very, very sheltered.

I'm not even going to get into how ridiculous it is that many of you are using this isolated incident to blow up the whole "get them there bums off our pristine streets!" argument...

jennifermarti 8 years, 5 months ago

Well if you are so pro-bums why don't you invite a couple home with you and give them shelter and a sandwich? If they are so harmless and not a threat to the general public. And I would say this "isolated incident" happens about a hundred times a day in Lawrence, but just goes unreported!

MerryPresent 8 years, 5 months ago

I like what Marion does...hands out his business card and says "I've got work you can do for $$$" and the beggars have yet to take him up on it.

jennifermarti 8 years, 5 months ago

Work? Now that would be a new one for the Lawrence drunks! Now why would someone want to do that when they can just beg and get there money for alcohol a nickle at a time. Not to mention that would require effort and we would never ask that of the poor homeless population.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

Pill Stash:

What planet are you from? The homeless situation is not being blown out of proportion. There are too many stories (EVERYONE has one) of drunks approaching and intimidating people, especially women and children, in our city. You need to wake up.

"Uh, if you are uncomfortable in Lawrence, Kansas at 1:30 am, and you are over 21, you are very, very sheltered."

What are you, BULLET-PROOF? Explain to me how you would have dealt with a man chasing you after informing you that you were about to be raped. I really want to hear your insight into how anyone "over 21" should be at ease with that.

You have 6 posts, which suggests to me that you have only been coming to the LJW site for a short while. Keep coming here and reading story after story JUST LIKE THIS ONE and you'll start to "get it".

My guess is that you, in your naivete, are the sheltered one. You assume so much, it makes me think you probably have no idea what really happens at 1:30 in downtown Lawrence.

eskimopieinKS 8 years, 5 months ago

I'd rather hand someone food than cash

at least most of the time they will go ahead and eat whereas if you hand them cash, you know it is going to go on booze/crack

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

Ban feeding the homeless. Think I am kidding? The city most efficient at creating homeless people (Las Vegas) now says they will arrest you if you feed them. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/2006/jul/20/072010285.html

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

"I'd rather hand someone food than cash"

Yes, but it seems that feeding them may get you raped.

Sigmund is right: if we are confident that our homeless services are sufficient, then ban it.

badger 8 years, 5 months ago

Jennifermarti said:

"What is it going to take to do something about this? My husband and I and our two little boys used to go downtown every Friday night for a slice of pizza, butnot any more. It has gotten so bad that we would be approached by at least 2 homeless, drunk pieces of crap every Friday. So we have just started going other places. We have been threatened time and time again and I have even called the police and still nothing is done. I don't even like the idea of these drunks being anywhere near my children. It just makes me sick and what can you do?"

One thing you might do is call the establishment you went to for a slice of pizza every Friday night, and explain that you would like to continue doing that, but that you have stopped because of your concerns about being approached and hassled by the homeless.

Every time you make the decision not to go downtown to buy something because of the homeless problem, make a note of it. At the end of each month, send those notes to the business association (Downtown Lawrence Association?) and the Chamber of Commerce. If you're really dedicated, keep a running tally of how much money you have spent outside of downtown that you would have spent downtown if the homeless weren't a problem for you, and send them that too.

Business owners can talk about how business is down for this or that reason, is this an economic downturn or a side effect of the homeless people, etc., but a letter in hand that says, "This year, due to Lawrence's inability to prevent its homeless population from verbally and physically threatening people downtown, I spent $6792.15 in Kansas City, Topeka, and the developments in Southwest Lawrence that would historically have been spent at Rudy's, Soap Momma, Sunflower Bike Shop, Vermont St. BBQ, Zen Zero, Aimee's, and Milton's," that's harder to dismiss - especially if you send a copy to each of the businesses you used to frequent.

Of course, I hear complaining on the Internet is a very popular choice, too.

Susan Mangan 8 years, 5 months ago

My 2 cents on these "isolated incidents". I've lived in Lawrence since I came to college in 1989, so 17 years now. I don't go downtown terribly often, less often as I've gotten older...so I've never had the experiences people often refer to with panhandlers. Until recently...

We were downtown having dinner with my inlaws, who were visiting, 2 weekends ago, and we stopped at the tiny carousel around 9th and Mass. to let our daughter ride it. It was her first time on it, since she's only 2, and another little girl and her mother stopped to ride it with us. The other little girl was about 2, also. It should have been a happy fun moment for two little kids, but we were accosted by a man going on and on about how he was a "victim of Katrina" and needed money for a hotel. My husband offered him a phone number of an employer and he got irate at the suggestion. What should have been a fun experience turned into an example of why going downtown is just not worth it anymore.

This was at 7:00 on a Saturday evening, in full daylight. We ended up having to practically drag our daughter to our car to get away from the bum and then figure out how to explain to a 2 year old why a grown man is yelling at us and begging for money. Lawrence is already business unfriendly and they are quickly becoming family unfriendly.

To me, it's just sad that the City Kommission would rather spend limited resources trying to make drug and alcohol addicted bums happy than using those same resources to make businesses and families happy. They talk about the importance of priorities, but they don't have a clue what's truly important in a "quaint" town that used to draw people by the thousands. I doubt if we'll be going back downtown until the trick-or-treating this Halloween. At least then we could explain away some drunk to our daughter as part of the normal Halloween atmosphere.

lawrencephilosopher 8 years, 5 months ago

We're gonna find out where you folks really stand.

Are there any queers in the theater tonight? Get them up against the wall! There's one in the spotlight, he don't look right to me, Get him up against the wall! That one looks Jewish! And that one's a coon! Who let all of this riff-raff into the room? There's one smoking a joint, And another with spots! If I had my way, I'd have all of you shot!

BJ 8 years, 5 months ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad: "As opposed as I am to a wet shelter, I'd never call the staff spineless. I can only imagine the crap they put up with over there."

Dear OldEnuf2BYurDad, I think I understand what you mean; the staff actually tries to do some good in THEIR eyes and while doing that they put up with a lot of crap. If that is what you meant, I agree 100%. What I meant to say was that they let themselves get pushed around because (1) they are afraid of the own "guests" (as several have told me personally) and (2) they will not act when something goes wrong, nor will they rectify any of the existing problems. I should have been clearer; I apologize. BJ

BJ 8 years, 5 months ago

MaryKatesPillStash, are you on your own pills? If so, they're not helping.

BJ 8 years, 5 months ago

badger wrote: "Every time you make the decision not to go downtown to buy something because of the homeless problem, make a note of it. At the end of each month, send those notes to the business association (Downtown Lawrence Association?) and the Chamber of Commerce."

Badger, Been there, done that. Those organizations do either not care (Chamber), or are afraid of repercussions (Downtown Lawrence). Do I have a better way? Unfortunatelly not (yet).

Deb Stavin 8 years, 5 months ago

RE: "Are there any queers in the theatre tonight?"

I believe that's a quote from Pink Floyd, The Wall.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 5 months ago

Everyone knows if you feed a stray they will follow you home. Tasers are one answer. Smile sweetly, tell them to get the F&^( away from you, count to three and ZAP......then you just have to explain to your 2 year old that the nice man twitching on the ground is dancing just for her!

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

the agressive, threatening bum is a prime example of what I've written about many times on these boards: the giveaway services with no strings, no insistance for self improvement, encourages and maintains these people in self distruction, and only serves to concentrate this population downtown! try #300 of 'em? outdoor bathrooms, etc., along with the obvious concentration of crime. this is not a population we should want downtown.

damnocracy 8 years, 5 months ago

Yet another reason to keep the Lawrence Community Shelter right where it is...downtown.

See, the facts surrounding this thankfully unsucessful assualt prove the need to keep the homeless in an area of town with a high police pressence where there is less chance for a potential victim to be isolated.

By moving the sheter to a total residential area, such as the proposed move of the Lawrence Community Shelter to the Prairie Meadows neighborhood, not only would the drunk have been able to follow the "helpful young dummy" straight to her home, he would have successfully raped her.

There will not be cops walking the beat in Prairie Meadows like there is downtown. There is no police station in Prairie Meadows, like there is downtown, which is constantly used by both those who are threatened by the homeless and by the homeless themselves when threatened by other homeless.

Of course, the homeless will have to hide out in peoples yards, sheds, garages, porches, cars, and bushes in Prairie Meadows, waiting for kids to come out to play, or people coming home from grocery shopping or carrying in food they've purchased, or just sitting in a porch swing wondering why the commies in the community don't put there money where their mouths are and simply allow the homeless to move in with Mike Rundle, Hilda Enoch, Loring Henderson, etc.

The downtown business community has pressed hard to move the shelter away from downtown, and as we know, downtown is the "jewel" of Lawrence. Of course, I've lived my entire life here and know of nothing more overrated than downtown.

It's filled with over-priced trinket stores owned by bored rich wives of Lawrence buisnessmen, more and more bland coporate chains, and, of course, it's filled with out of town gangstas, teens, and homeless most of the time.

But at least one can CHOOSE to venture downtown. I chose to eat at locally owned restaurants and shop at locally owned stores that are specifically NOT downtown.

This issue, however, is that it is fortunate that the homeless are downtown where they have less potential to do real harm (murder, rape, etc) where at least help is within sight of their victims.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

Orlando Bans Feeding Homeless Downtown Jul 25 1:55 PM US/Eastern

ORLANDO, Fla.

City officials have banned charitable groups from feeding homeless people in parks downtown, arguing that transients who gather for weekly meals create safety and sanitary problems for businesses.

The measure, approved Monday, prevents serving large groups in parks and other public property within two miles of City Hall without a permit. The American Civil Liberties Union vowed to sue, saying it's a superficial fix that ignores the city's homeless problem.

City commissioner Patty Sheehan pushed for the ordinance after complaints from business owners and residents that homeless people were causing problems at a downtown park popular with joggers and dog walkers.

A group called Food Not Bombs, which has served weekly vegetarian meals to homeless people for more than a year there, said it would continue illegally.

Robin Stotter, who is opening a restaurant downtown, said he would support homeless people by pledging money for food and shelter, but supported the ordinance.

"The homeless issue is not going to be solved today," he said. "It's a safety issue, and the public deserves a safe place to be."

Two of the city's five commissioners voted against the ordinance _ including Robert Stuart, the head of a homeless shelter.

Stuart said the city was moving to "criminalize goodhearted people."

"We're putting a Band-Aid on a critical problem," said commissioner Sam Ings, the other opposing vote.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

lawrencephilosopher 8 years, 5 months ago

I am sorry but it appears that Marion has much to write but very little to say.

Please Marion leave some air for the rest of us to breathe

badger 8 years, 5 months ago

BJ -

Perhaps one person saying it doesn't make a difference, but do you see how many people here regularly say they don't do things downtown even though they would like to? If, instead of just whinging about how no one's doing anything about the homeless (or the patently idiotic suggestion that people start shooting them for failing to move along when asked - good luck making a self-defense charge stick with, "Well, your honor, he asked me for money three times and I told him to stop, so when he asked again I tasered him in the face!" Marion again for the WIN!), start putting a dollar amount to your absence, and clearly outlining that dollar amount for the people who are losing the money.

Used to go to Rudy's every day for a slice, salad, and soda? That's 35 bucks a week, almost two grand a year. Think they'd like to have that money? Tell them directly why they're not getting it. Used to do all your Holiday shopping at boutique stores on Mass? That's hundreds of dollars those merchants would probably like to know why they're losing - and be able to take proof of why they're losing it to the city council, the chamber of commerce, and the downtown lawrence folks. Moved happy hour from Free State over to Chili's? Say 6 people, three beers apiece plus an appetizer, and that's over a hundred bucks a week they're losing, five grand a year.

One person rarely makes a difference, but it seems like there's more than one person here who's not spending money downtown like he used to.

I'll even go so far as to make up a template spreadsheet if people ask me, to calculate and print out how much money the loss of a person's business really means to downtown, based on previous shopping habits.

JayhawkJane 8 years, 5 months ago

It was turkey, cheese, mayo, tomato, and a sprinkle of oregano on wheat if anyone was wondering.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

Were you the woman who 'gave up her sandwich and nearly lost her virtue as well' that is mentioned in the story?

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 5 months ago

Can I just say (again) that I think this is being blown all out of proportion? As I've posted before, I've lived in Lawrence nine years, been downtown at all hours of the day and night, frequently walked home by myself, literally hundreds of times, and never had anything happen but a few rude comments. I don't think I'm the exception here, but they don't write articles about how many times people go downtown and nothing bad happens.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

"they don't write articles about how many times people go downtown and nothing bad happens"

This isn't Beruit. "Nothing bad" happening is supposed to be the norm, not news.

Even your statement shows how bad it is: we are so desensitized that we think it notable that sometimes we don't get harrassed.

MaryKatesPillStash 8 years, 5 months ago

Yep. Way out of proportion.

I know I've only lived here for 6 years, and before that I grew up in a pretty bad neighborhood in KC. But I've always appreciated Lawrence for being a tolerant, proactive community. Not a "let's preserve our perfect picket fence neigborhood!" community. But, maybe it's more like Johnson County than I thought. Hide all the problems under a pile of beige? I guess.

Hmmm...am I naive for being alone after dark in Lawrence? Maybe. But I'm also pretty rational, and I am into checking crime reports while I'm bored at work, and I've gotta tell you, I'm not worried. I've gotten sexually harassed by frat boys more times while at work during football games than walking home from the club at 2:30. And yeah, I LOVE LAST CALL.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

I hope Mary Kate gets a clue before she becomes a victim.

Althea Schnacke 8 years, 5 months ago

The only time I feel unsafe walking around Lawrence in on Nebraska football game days. I've been harassed more by their fans more on 4 days than I have in six years living in Lawrence by the homeless.

matahari 8 years, 4 months ago

1) She chose to interact with him 2) She chose to buy him the sandwhich (and share it) 3) She chose to go out at 1:30 A.M. (alone) 4) the cops were informed 5) The guy was arrested What's wrong with this picture? Nothing, only the people who chose to complain, which I've yet to figure what or why. "It just goes to show ya, it's always something Rosanne, Roseanna Danna (it's not a perfect world)

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 4 months ago

Posted by badger (anonymous) on July 26, 2006 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If, instead of just whinging about how no one's doing anything about the homeless (or the patently idiotic suggestion that people start shooting them for failing to move along when asked - good luck making a self-defense charge stick with, "Well, your honor, he asked me for money three times and I told him to stop, so when he asked again I tasered him in the face!" Marion again for the WIN!),


What is so idiotic about protecting youself from drunked up freaks??? Well your Honor, I told him three times to get away from me. the stench of his breath and the reak of his clothing was making my 2 year old cry and his pants were unzipped and falling off his hips. He continued to invade my personal space and I feared for my saftey and the saftey of my kids. so I zapped him.....

Or.... well gee your Honor, I gave him a sammich and asked him nicely to leave us alone but he didn't. he grabbed my child and started rubbing himself on her and took off with her, but I'm too much of a sissy to do anything so do you think you can send some one out to look for her? thanks.

I choose #1,

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 4 months ago

Live and Breathe has maybe exaggerated a little, but I generally agree with his perspective. When EVERY one of my senses says "this guy is 100% unpredictable", then what do I do? Never go downtown or within a block of the shelters? Take a weapon? Hire security, like a rock star? The way "these people" (I put it in quotes ahead of time since someone will likely put it in quotes later as they call me a bigot) are being managed by city policies and shelter policies, the ordinary citizen doesn't have a way out. All we can do is wait for one of them to attempt to engage us physically, then hope that we can fend them off/run away.

Socially, Lawrence is broken. I poke fun at the west-side-JO-Co. types that we have in Lawrence, but more and more I think I will eventually become one. I like Zen Zero, but since there aren't any winos approaching my wife at 75th St. Brewery, I may just have to make that my new favorite place.

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