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Panhandlers Argue Over 'Rights' to Bath Intersection

The following information was supplied by the Bath Police Department. It does not indicate a conviction.

An argument between two panhandlers over who got to “work” a Bath Township intersection ended with a trip to the hospital for one man and an assault charge for the other.

received a late-morning call Nov. 8 about a dispute between two panhandlers outside at 9 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

One man, 45, was struck and knocked to the ground by his friend, a 58-year-old man.

The second man ran north behind the plaza, and the Bath officer found him on Montrose Avenue.

Police said the 58-year-old admitted to striking his friend after they argued over who was going to solicit from the corner of Cleveland-Massillon and Medina roads.

The victim, who was taken to Akron General Health & Wellness Center in Montrose for his injuries, said he wanted to press charges.

Police arrested the 58-year-old and charged him with assault, a first-degree misdemeanor. The man was issued a summons and released.

The homepage of the police department’s website features an article about the “challenging issue” of dealing with panhandlers that offers advice for area residents.

Wsnow November 15, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Panhandlers are strangers who may approach someone, or set at a location on the street, asking for money. According to studies by professionals and service agencies, money given to panhandlers is often used to further enable self-destructive behaviors such as alcoholism and drug addiction, by using the money collected to purchase alcohol and drugs. One former panhandler and addict was quoted as saying, “Giving money to a panhandler is like giving a gun to someone who is suicidal.” The biggest misconception about panhandlers is they are homeless. In fact, the vast majority of panhandlers are NOT homeless, and most homeless individuals do not panhandle. Homelessness is not the problem for truly needy panhandles, but rather, a symptom of underlying problems. For some, panhandling is a profession, and can be lucrative. If a panhandler asks for money, the best response is to politely say “no” and walk away. The police should be contacted if a panhandler becomes aggressive or if you feel threatened. A better way to help those in need is to donate to charities and organizations with outreach programs that assist the homeless and needy or volunteer time at these organizations and service agencies. By becoming more knowledgeable about panhandling and homelessness, we can make a positive impact in the lives of those less fortunate.
Kris Whiteley March 27, 2012 at 01:42 PM
This new law in NO WAY makes me feel safer. From what I'm reading, I will pretty much be fair game throughout Fairlawn. Panhandling already makes me very uncomfortable and now you're lowering the requirements and upping availibility. I like some of the other comments have stated give my money to established charities that I know are committed to helping the less fortunate. This is a bad decision as far as I can see. There isn't a single point in the new legislation that makes any sense to me!

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