MANCHESTER, NH – A woman “panhandling” at a traffic light on March 25 was charged with disorderly conduct after a police officer determined she distracted the drivers by rushing into the road, making her responsible, in part, for the crash.
Alyssa Ramalho, 26, no fixed address, was charged in the incident. Bail was set at $300 cash or surety during an arraignment March 26, according to WMUR.
Police say Officer Mark Harrington was working a paid detail at Bridge and Ash streets on March 25, at 1:10 p.m. when he witnessed a minor car crash involving two vehicles at Beech and Bridge streets.
According to the police report, Detective Harrington spoke with the two drivers, Angelo Cartagena, 55, and Nicole Cannistraro, 20, both of Manchester.
Cartagena told police he was stopped at the traffic light on Beech Street, north of Bridge Street, and engaged in a conversation with a panhandler who rushed out to get a dollar from him, causing a distraction which led to the accident.
Based on the investigation, Detective Harrington determined Ramalho was partially at fault for the accident, so he placed her into custody and charged her with disorderly conduct. Ramalho, who was recently released on bail for violation of a protective order, was also charged for the bail violation.
Panhandling, which has been more visible in the city due to the increase in drug use, is not a violation of city ordinance, however city officials are considering enacting a panhandling ordinance, the Union Leader reports.
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