MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Police Community Policing Division issued several citations over the weekend to panhandlers at various locations in response to citizen complaints and safety concerns. Panhandling is not a crime, but the actions surrounding panhandling can cause disruption in traffic which is a violation, and can create safety issues for other motorists as well as the panhandlers. These safety concerns have been heightened with the increased traffic related to the holiday shopping season, police said.
Officer’s located numerous people panhandling in the area of South Willow Street and issued eight summonses to seven different people for a violation level offense of disorderly conduct. The violation level offense does not result in an arrest.
The officers spoke to each violator and advised them of the many services within the Queen City to help them during their time of need. They directed them toward food assistance at the New Horizons Soup Kitchen and 1269 Café. They also advised them of Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, a non-profit geared towards helping those who suffer from addiction in the event any of the violators needed food and/or drug treatment.
Mark Paquin, 36, of 345 Titus Ave., Manchester, was in the area of 777 South Willow Street at 12:40 p.m. on Dec. 3 when officers observed him impede traffic flow while collecting an item from a passing motorist. Paquin was allegedly standing on the median at the entrance of the shopping plaza when he caused the disruption in traffic flow while the vehicles were attempting to cycle through a green traffic light. He was issued a Disorderly Conduct summons and given a court date of Jan. 12, 2015.
Candace Neal, 53, of 790 South Porter St., City of Manchester, NH standing at the off ramp of I-293 and South Willow Street (eastbound) on Dec. 1 at about 11:30 a.m. and again on Dec. 5 at about 11 a.m. In both instances she allegedly collected an item from a passing motorist causing a disruption in traffic flow during a green light in a heavily traveled area. She was issued a disorderly conduct violation summons for both instances. She is set to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on Jan. 12, 2015.
Jefferson Kimball, 23, of 156 Orange St. # 4, Manchester, NH was standing on the north-east corner of Beech Street Dec. 4 at 12 p.m. when a vehicle in the far right lane stopped in the road as Kimball ran on to the street to collect money. Another vehicle traveling in the east lane almost struck Kimball, which prompted him to run back toward the sidewalk. He was issued a summons for disorderly conduct after he was nearly struck by a vehicle, and is set to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on Jan. 7, 2015.
Elisabeth Sanford, 30, of 455 Pine St. # 301, Manchester, was standing with a male subject while panhandling Dec. 5 at about 11: 10 a.m. at the west bound Exit 1 off ramp. She allegedly impeded traffic flow during holiday traffic while collecting an item believed to be cash from a passing motorist. She was issued a disorderly conduct summons and is set to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on Jan. 12, 2015.
John Tilton, 49, of 363 Silver St., #6 City of Manchester, was standing at the I-293 off-ramp at South Willow Street on Dec. 5 at 4:25 p.m. when he stopped traffic during a green light as he collected an item from a passing motorist. The officers stopped him and issued him a white summons for disorderly conduct. He is set to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on Jan. 23, 2015.
John Escobar, 49, of 165 Conant Street #3, Manchester, was at Exit 1, I-293 and South Willow Street on Dec. 6 at about 11 a.m. holding a sign. The officers watched him stop traffic as he collected an item from the motorist who stopped during a green traffic cycle. They spoke with Escobar a week prior to this incident while he was panhandling on South Willow Street. They informed him not to stop traffic flow and/or step on to the roadway while panhandling otherwise it would result in a Disorderly Conduct charge. He was issued a summons for disorderly conduct violation for the December 6 violation and is set to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on Jan. 12, 2015.
Jeffrey Bunker, 25, no fixed address, was standing in the median at the entrance/egress of the Mall of New Hampshire and almost caused a motor vehicle crash as he walked into the roadway to collect money from a motorist. The motorist was turning into the mall entrance from South Willow Street when they stopped the vehicle during a green traffic light. Bunker was issued a summons for disorderly conduct and is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on Dec. 23, 2015.
Manchester Police Department recognizes the good intentions of motorists. However, in an effort to discourage panhandling at busy intersections and other areas of the City, the Manchester Police Department is seeking the assistance of motorists and asking them to instead make donations to charitable organizations that are available to assist those in need.
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