A 90-year-old man who was arrested for feeding homeless people through his charity organization in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was arrested again – one day later – for the same offense.
Arnold Abbott technically broke the law Tuesday when he and other Samaritans reportedly made food for the homeless and served it through the group Love Thy Neighbor, which Abbott founded in the early ‘90s, Opposing Views reported earlier this week. The group’s actions went against a new ordinance passed on Oct. 22 by the Fort Lauderdale City Commission, in an attempt to crack down on the number of homeless feeding sites by requiring them to provide portable toilets.
After his arrest, Abbott was clear about his future plans – and they included continuing to provide food for the homeless.
“I went through World War II,” Abbott told the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. “I fought in the Civil Rights movement. This won’t stop us. All this did was move us to court earlier than we had planned.”
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Holding true to his word, Abbott spent the following night dishing out hot food on the street.
And after he was finished serving food, police handcuffed the senior and arrested him for the second time this week, reports the Daily Mail.
Mayor Jack Seiler says Abbott is not following the law and, for that reason, will continue to be stopped by police for what others believe are his charitable actions. “Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn’t think these individuals should have to have any interaction with the government, that they should be fed in the parks,” Seiler told Local 10. “We disagree.”
But Abbott, who faces a $500 fine for each arrest and a maximum four-month jail sentence, continues to defend his actions, saying the homeless will turn to stealing and dumpster diving if he doesn’t help them.
“I love the city,” he said. “I live here, it’s a beautiful place and I’d like to keep it beautiful, but you cannot sweep the homeless under a rug.”
Photo Credit: AP