Three Panhandling Applications Filed, One Panhandler Cited by Police
Panhandlers are now required to register with the Fairlawn Police Department for a permit.
April 25 was the last day panhandlers could ask for donations in Fairlawn without having a panhandling permit.
Since then, three people have filed panhandling applications and one panhandler has been cited for working without one, said Fairlawn police Chief Kenneth Walsh.
"We've gotten three applications and per the ordinance, I have 20 days to get a background check done and let them know if they are rejected," Walsh said. "I'm not surprised by the low number. We had about five or six regular panhandlers so we're at about half."
Police cited a 52-year-old panhandler, who claims to live in Fairlawn, on April 27. The police report said the man was standing at the western entrance/exit of Fairlawn Town Centre.
The panhandler has been warned about obtaining a permit on April 18, police said, but he failed to do so and was cited for panhandling without credentials.
The number of people panhandling on Fairlawn street corners has dramatically decreased, and Bath Township has seen an increase of about five or six new panhandlers, said Bath police Chief Michael McNeely.
On Saturday and Sunday, township police were called to the intersection of West Market and Cleveland-Massillon roads (at the Speedway) because two panhandlers were fighting over working the intersection, McNeely said.
The woman panhandler got to the corner first, but the man panhandler said he had been working that corner since last fall and thought he was entitled to it, McNeely said. This argument happened both Saturday and Sunday.
McNeely said the woman panhandler was the same one officers saw throw away a large box of donated food.
And it's not the first time panhandlers have fought over this Bath intersection. Last November, two panhandlers got into a physical fight, sending one man to the hospital and landing the other with an assault charge.
"The panhandlers think that corner is more lucrative than any other Bath intersection," McNeely said. "We'll continue to keep an eye on them."