3 from out of state jailed for panhandling in Peachtree City

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Three people from three states were recently cited for soliciting money in three locations around Peachtree City.

Officers on Sept. 3 at approximately 1 p.m. were dispatched to the area of Outback Steakhouse and Chick-fil-A in Kedron Village in reference to a female subject asking for money, according to police reports.

“Further investigation revealed the lady to have been warned multiple times in the past for soliciting,” police reports said of 35-year-old Justina Mihai. “The female was cited and released with a copy (of the charge) while her husband, who was waiting for her to finish soliciting, was found to be driving a vehicle with no insurance or a driver`s license.”

The male subject, 37-year-old Nelu Mihai, of Houston, Texas, was transported to Fayette County Jail for city ordinance violation, no insurance and driving without a valid license.

In another incident, officers on Sept. 6 at approximately 12:54 p.m. responded to an anonymous complaint of a male needing help at the edge of the roadway on Georgian Parkway near Ga. Highway 74.

“Upon arrival, we met with the offender who was standing at the exit of the Kedron Village shopping center at Georgian Park while holding a sign requesting assistance, to which he admitted he was seeking money from passing motorists. He was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to the Fayette County Jail for a municipal ordinance violation without incident,” the police report said

Peachtree City Police Department spokesman Donte Phillips said Luis Velcu, 18, was arrested rather than only being cited because officers could not confirm his residence. Velcu indicated he was from Duluth, though his identification showed he was from Arizona.

In a third incident, officers on Sept. 3 at approximately 5:19 p.m. responded to a suspicious person soliciting money reported at the Fresh Market store on Ga. Highway 54.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers determined that Lovery R. Roman, 33, of South Dakota, was soliciting without a permit. He was charged for that offense and for driving without a valid license.

32 COMMENTS

  1. I think we are all in agreement that homelessness is sad situation. I’m sure we all wish “lifelines” are available to get ALL these individuals the help they need. Unfortunately, we all know what the reality is.

    In the meantime, lets not forget the situation at border where the large numbers of individuals seeking entry is at the point that it’s growing into an huge humanitarian problem with no end in sight. Oh, and it’s no longer just those from Mexico and central America. Somehow other nationalities are involved and Mexico who allowed them to cross their southern border will not take them back. So the question is, what do we do? Are there any ideas?

      • Thank you, Doug T, for this.
        Thank you for affording the refugees and asylum seekers at our border human dignity.

        You acknowledge them as people with value–assets to our society rather than burdens.

        You give me hope that whatever our country decides to do, we will at least be humane.

        That is the very least we can do, until we are are willing to do more. I look forward to that day.

        • I too am human. I am somewhat of a history buff and I am led to believe when we share with others, they will learn to share. Barriers fall with shared experiences and the sharing culture thrives. I do warn; diversity within itself has little value. A common (or shared) purpose drives diversity’s value. As my spouse is so apt to say, “When you have more than you need, build a bigger table not a higher fence.”

      • Doug, so for the homeless here; can they not share in this kindness (help) in order to lead productive lives and ultimately contribute to society like your Medicare or do we turn our backs on them in favor of irregular immigrates?

        • Broadly, I believe we should try to help anyone who asks for help. I don’t necessarily believe we should assume they want it, nor do I necessarily believe we should tell them (or others) they need it. Exceptions do exist. For example, a fallen, injured, or physically ill person may need help. I think it proper to try and help in such situations. Diagnosing aging and mental illness isn’t one of my talents, so I’ll leave that to professionals.

          One of my big rubs comes from people who claim certain benevolent acts need attention. Woodrow Wilson justified entering WW1 to show the world how great democracy works. We haven’t done a very good job of it and yet that has been our primary U.S. Department of State’s focus ever since. I also don’t like coddling to any specific group of people, whether you think the group needs a “hands up,” “hand out,” or presented for marketing. It’s one thing to share what we have, know, and do with groups of people, but it’s entirely another to try and make our mark on them.

  2. I think we are all in agreement that homelessness is sad situation. I’m sure we all wish “lifelines” are available to get ALL these individuals the help they need. Unfortunately, we all know what the reality is.

    In the meantime, lets not forget the situation at border where the large numbers of individuals seeking entry is at the point that it’s growing into an huge humanitarian problem with no end in sight. Oh, and it’s no longer just those from Mexico and central America. Somehow other nationalities are involved and Mexico who allowed them to cross their southern border will not take them back. So the question is, what do we do? Are there any ideas?

    • None of those names are Romani. Mihai is Romanian. Phillips is English. Roman is Bulgarian.

      Very few Romani remain nomadic. Those that do seek jobs on an itinerant basis in trades and service industries. Panhandling is no more a part of their culture than it is of Romanian, English, or Bulgari.

    • I want you to go to one of those places and fill out an application as a homeless person. But first… because you’re homeless, don’t shave or shower for at least a week. You don’t have a house or a bathroom. And make sure to wear the same set of clothes all week, because you don’t have a washing machine in your not house. I’m sure you’ll make a good impression. When you fill out the employment application and it asks for mailing address, put none. You don’t have a contact number or email address, either. When you fill out the direct deposit form to receive your paycheck, make a plan for how you’re going to go to a bank and get a bank account in 2021 when you’re unable to provide proof of address as required by federal law. It’s going to be a problem to get paid otherwise because nobody hands out cash anymore, and very few will issue a paper check. Even if they did, you need ID to cash it, and a lot of homeless people lack that as well.

      If this sounds daunting, then consider the fact that 30% of homeless people do actually have a job is somewhat of a miracle. It’s just not enough to get a place to live, particularly in an area such as this. Do you have first and last months rent and security deposit sitting around?

      By the way… once you have a criminal record, getting a job, a bank account, and/or a lease becomes significantly more difficult.

  3. This whole “what would Jesus do” thing puts me in an uncomfortable position…without a homeless shelter what do we do, but once the word gets out we have a homeless shelter…they will come in mass.
    I used to do video work in ATL…all the shelters were magnets to the “homeless” and they congregated early in large numbers everyday knowing what was available.
    I say we should have no shelters unless they are out in rural locations.

    • If they come in mass, that only means the problem was hidden all along, not that it didn’t exist.

      Most homelessness is temporary. They are people who fell into circumstances beyond their ability to manage. It’s very common. Statistically, 1 out of every 10 people will experience homelessness in their life. That means someone you know had a period in their life where they didn’t have shelter. They’re just too embarrassed to tell you about it.

  4. This is exactly the type of law enforcement called for in these circumstances. If you want to find out what happens when panhandlers, vagrants, drug offenders, and other “minor” offenders are left alone, spend some time in California, where they are now sacred cows of the left and have overrun large portions of neighborhoods that were great places to live only 10-15 years ago.

    • You are so correct RedRefugee
      Once the local law and politicians allow the minor infractions…the herd arrives and takes over.
      Along with that comes the drugs and other crime.
      Thank you PTC cops for holding the line all the time…we need them to be always vigilant.

      • A bit of compassion and charity would not go amiss.

        Before relocating to PTC, our home was in South Louisiana. I still recall so many variations on the following conversation–

        “I think I came across Christ on the streets today.”
        “And did you help him out?”
        “Yes.”
        “Then he can say the same, about you.”

        I am so thankful to be at a place in life where I am able to be the answer to someone’s prayer, rather than the needy soul.

        As I learned in The French Quarter,
        “See Christ—Be Christ”.

        God Bless the Street People.

          • The man was fishing. And he now he has jail fines, legal fees, and a criminal record, which will make it harder to fish next time.

            I’m in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with suz on this one. We are called by Christ to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and shelter the traveler. We have a lot of wealth in this area, and a lot of churches bragging about their missions to far off foreign lands, yet there isn’t a single homeless shelter in Fayette or Coweta County where law enforcement can take these people instead of having to put them in jail on trumped up charges.

            We need to do better.

          • PTCitizen, I’m in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with you on this one! And … now that I’ve lived with it for a minute … it actually feels great. Let’s agree on more things!

          • Spyglass–
            ‘…you could always volunteer your Casa for the homeless.”

            Or we could, each of us, do what is ours to do–I thank PTCitizen for sharing his lovely comments, urging change.

            I appreciate VJax for her good-natured
            encouragement (and I happen to know that she supports innumerable services that assist many in need).

            Personally, I count it a joy to be of as much help as I am able. The ways and means are my own calling.

            St. Francis of Assisi put it beautifully, on his death bed. He charged his followers–
            “I have done what was mine to do. May Christ teach you what is yours.”

            No one expects you to open your house.
            Just start with your heart.

          • Spyglass: I have. Also, I have been homeless for a brief period in my youth. I would love for you to have that experience. You would learn humility at least.

    • ..spend some time in California, where they are now sacred cows of the left and have overrun large portions of neighborhoods that were great places to live only 10-15 years ago.

      You can thank the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case Martin v. City of Boise. The court ruled that cities could not prohibit homeless people from camping in public places unless they had adequate shelter available.

      There might come the time when the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (that’s this region) might rule similarly if the same case is brought before them.

        • Hey Doug,
          A lot of that “greenspace” is private land.
          It’s real problem for large cities out west. California mandated cities provide suitable shelter for the homeless but the problem is these cities have little in the way of available housing and or vacant land to build upon. So the next hurdle is to force the private sector to cough up what is needed. Let’s see how that plays out.

        • What a refreshingly candid statement, Doug T–
          “My heart says okay, but my brain says YIKES!”

          It seems to me that the opposite of love is not hate; rather it is often fear.

          Something about your frankness tells me that you will find your way to caring bravely.

          Wishing you all the best!

  5. He was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to the Fayette County Jail for a municipal ordinance violation without incident…..

    Locked up for a “municipal ordinance violation”???? Which one, or is this in limbo until authorities can figure out which ordinance will fit? In the meantime he’s getting his three squares and a bed/cot to sleep on.