28 April 2005
Brother, can you spare a fiver?
A friend told me he was downtown the other day, and was hit by four different transients in two hours. One made remarks about how nice this person's car was before asking for money, making him nervous about whether it would remain safe if the request was turned down. Another panhandler made a long pitch about needing money for medical help, while two others started walking at this person's side, trying to strike up conversations before making their plea.
At least two of these instances occured after dark. Police were nowhere to be seen. The downtown security ambassadors were nowhere to be seen. The new ordinance, therefore, was of little comfort to this visitor.
What's "aggressive"? This is the legal definition (§30-430, Oklahoma City Municipal Code):
(1) Approaching or speaking to a person, or following a person before, during or after soliciting if that conduct is intended or is likely to cause a reasonable person to fear bodily harm to oneself or to another, or damage to or loss of property or otherwise to be intimidated into giving money or other thing of value;
(2) Continuing to solicit from a person after the person has given a negative response to such soliciting;
(3) Intentionally touching or causing physical contact with another person without that person's consent in the course of soliciting;
(4) Intentionally blocking or interfering with the safe or free passage of a pedestrian or vehicle by any means, including unreasonably causing a pedestrian or vehicle operator to take evasive action to avoid physical contact;
(5) Using violent or threatening language and/or gestures toward a person solicited which are likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction from the person being solicited;
(6) Following the person being solicited, with the intent of asking that person for money or other things of value;
(7) Speaking in a volume unreasonably loud under the circumstances;
(8) Soliciting money from anyone who is waiting in line for tickets, for entry to a building or for any other purpose;
(9) Soliciting in a manner with conduct, words or gestures intended or likely to cause a reasonable person to fear immediate bodily harm, danger or damage to or loss of property or otherwise be intimidated into giving money or any other thing of value;
(10) Begging in a group of two or more persons in an intimidating fashion;
(11) Soliciting any person within 20 feet of any outdoor seating area of any cafe, restaurant or other business, automated teller machine, mass transportation stop, public toilet or pay telephone;
(12) Soliciting any person in public after dark, which shall mean the time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise.
At least we're not proposing to license beggars.Posted at 10:13 AM to City Scene