Quantcast

Aggressive panhandlers in Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Aggressive panhandlers in Joplin

Updated:
Whether it is a crowded intersection or an isolated parking lot, getting approached by panhandlers can turn dangerous if they are being too aggressive in asking for money.
Most panhandlers can be recognized by a cardboard sign, but others are less visible and can approach you when you least expect it.  
"I just give them money whenever they need some money because you never know, maybe they are in need or maybe not, but who are we to judge them?" said Joplin resident Rudy Roearte.
But for some, it's more than an extra dime.  It's a full-time job.
"People tell me to get a job and I say I've got a job,'" said panhandler Gene Ray.  "This is hard work, it's hard work being out here on the streets. It is a hard job and it's not my job, it's my survival."
Ray says he is not an aggressive panhandler.
"If somebody wants to give, they'll give," he said.  "If they don't, well thank you anyway."
Ray says others can be aggressive though and more likely to be scam artists.
"That ruins it for the people that really need it," he said.
"Sometimes panhandlers do get aggressive and they even tend to follow our employees out to their cars on lunch breaks or when they're getting of work," said Sarah Burton, employee at Cell Phone Medics in downtown Joplin.  "It has become an increasing issue lately."
The Joplin Police Department advises people to stay inside their vehicles if they feel uncomfortable.
"If you are on the way to the building and are being approached, if they're making you uncomfortable, maybe increase your speed and tell them to get away from you, be loud with that too so others can hear," said Corporal Dan Haskins with the Joplin Police Department.
It is legal for street panhandlers to stand on the sidewalk, but when they try to cross the street and stand on the medians, that is against the law.
"Our concern is the safety, making sure we're not getting anybody hurt out there as well as not backing up traffic," Haskins said.  "Our focus is roadway safety as well as personal safety for everybody out there."
Haskins says individuals should not feel intimidated or forced into giving money.  Rather, it should be of their free will.
Others recommend donating to a local organization or church and referring panhandlers to seek help there.
"If a person is so desperate to sit on a corner or approach somebody, they are not out to help themselves necessarily because we do have programs in the area," Burton said.
Joplin Police say if you have told someone that you do not wish to give money and the solicitor continues to follow you or ask for money, notify authorities for assistance.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Anti-Bullying Message From Former Pro Wrestler Urges Neosho Students to Make Good Choices

    Anti-Bullying Message From Former Pro Wrestler Urges Neosho Students to Make Good Choices

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-05-22 22:24:27 GMT

    A school presentation urges Neosho students to make good choices.           It comes as area school districts are being directed by the State of Missouri Department of Education to come up with plans to prevent and react to teen suicides and often bullying can be a factor. 

    More >>

    A school presentation urges Neosho students to make good choices.           It comes as area school districts are being directed by the State of Missouri Department of Education to come up with plans to prevent and react to teen suicides and often bullying can be a factor. 

    More >>
  • 7 Years Ago: Remembering Lives Lost

    7 Years Ago: Remembering Lives Lost

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 6:28 PM EDT2018-05-22 22:28:54 GMT

    Seven years ago today (May 22, 2018), Joplin and Duquesne were devastated by an EF-5 tornado. 161 lives were lost.  While many will never forget the devastation, many will also never forget the resilience that came from it. Families and friends visited Joplin's Cunningham Park today.  The park's layout and structures are designed to recognize the victims of the tornado and to provide a place for reflection.  People can also write messages in a guest book.

    More >>

    Seven years ago today (May 22, 2018), Joplin and Duquesne were devastated by an EF-5 tornado. 161 lives were lost.  While many will never forget the devastation, many will also never forget the resilience that came from it. Families and friends visited Joplin's Cunningham Park today.  The park's layout and structures are designed to recognize the victims of the tornado and to provide a place for reflection.  People can also write messages in a guest book.

    More >>
  • Joplin Man Sentenced To Prison Time For Large-Scale Meth Conspiracy

    Joplin Man Sentenced To Prison Time For Large-Scale Meth Conspiracy

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:28 PM EDT2018-05-22 21:28:26 GMT

    The Office of the U.S. Attorney Western District of Missouri says a Joplin man was sentenced today (May 22,2018) for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine in southwest Missouri. 25-year-old Santiago Soto-Garcia was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 25 years in federal prison without parole. On Nov. 2, 2017, Soto-Garcia was found guilty at trial of one count of participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, o...

    More >>

    The Office of the U.S. Attorney Western District of Missouri says a Joplin man was sentenced today (May 22,2018) for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine in southwest Missouri. 25-year-old Santiago Soto-Garcia was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 25 years in federal prison without parole. On Nov. 2, 2017, Soto-Garcia was found guilty at trial of one count of participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, o...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.