A Florida resident is taking a stand against panhandlers in his town after a homeless man allegedly rejected his offer of a $15 per-hour job by unceremoniously kicking his car and swearing at him, demanding instant cash instead.
FOX 13’s Kimberly Kuizon joined Ryan Bray, of Bray Remodeling, as he stood at the intersection of 75th Street W and Manatee Avenue W, holding a sign to warn drivers not to give panhandlers cash. During the interview, the transient man – identified by Bray as the one who rejected his offer for help – approached and confronted Bray, claiming he did nothing wrong.
Bray, who works for his family’s remodeling business, said he has seen the same group of panhandlers at the intersection before and wanted to do more than hand out a temporary solution, so he offered one of the men a job: $15 an hour to do yard work, plus help to get off the streets.
“He reached his arms inside my vehicle, resting them, and said hey do you have any money? I said no but I have one better for you….”He said absolutely not. Started getting belligerent and cursing,” he said.
“I offered him $15 an hour to do yardwork for me and he refused. If we as a community stop paying them, they will leave our neighborhood,” Bray’s sign read. And, he spent three hours along the side of the road with the vagrant, holding that sign high for all to see as the man attempted to beg passersby for money. But, that’s not all.
According to Bray, the panhandler threatened to rape his mother and kill his wife, all because he wouldn’t just give him some money. Bray was undeterred by the threats and determined to warn others. So, rather than staying away, he returned to fight back against the aggressive panhandler once more.
With a local reporter in tow, Bray joined the panhandler who got angry about his offer at the intersection of 75th Street W and Manatee Avenue W again, but this time, he was there with cameras rolling. Unsurprisingly, the unnamed panhandler wasn’t happy to see Bray return with his sign or to be questioned by the reporters who had joined him.
Watch it here: CBS Local News/Youtube
The transient confronted Bray and the news crew, claiming he did nothing wrong and saying that he was the one being harassed. The panhandler also used foul language as Bray stood near him along the street, but he still managed to get money from at least one driver. “You can’t shut me down, brother,” he said after his panhandling victory.
In another clip from WFLA News Channel 8, the unnamed vagrant showed even more agitation and aggression towards reporters on the busy street corner, where he approached cars constantly. “Get the f***ing camera out of my face, brother,” he said. “Quit following me!” he yelled, telling reporters to leave. And, it’s easy to see why Bray, a businessman, felt his community was being bullied by panhandlers:
Watch it here: WFLA Youtube
Bray is urging the local council to take a harder stance against aggressive panhandling in Bradenton.
‘I understand the plight of homelessness,’ Bray said. ‘I feel bad for him. But, this isn’t homelessness. They are making more money sitting here on this corner than they would doing an honest living.
‘Enough is enough. It’s out of control. It’s getting worse and worse and worse now they are coming into northwest Bradenton.’
He said the intersection has been worked by a group of homeless people for the past year, each taking it in turn to work the corner.