Three Texas teenagers were charged with felony exploitation of the elderly after forcing their grandmother to beg for money outside of the Montgomery County Walmart.
19-year-old James Cerda Junior, his twin brother Joshua, and 18-year-old Ashley Ramey were all charged. They are now each being held in jail on a $3,000 bond. Ramey also faces an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court.
A deputy happened to be driving by the Walmart at the time of the incident and a concerned shopper alerted him. By that time, the grandma had collected about $10.
It appears it wasn’t the first time the teens had coerced their grandmother into asking for money. The 71-year-old woman said that her grandchildren frequently forced her to panhandle alone. When a deputy asked the teens why they did so, they said it was because they didn’t like to beg.
The family had just finished eating pizza on Sunday, and Margaret Campbell thought they were going home.
“I said, Joshua, where are we going now? He said, you’re going to go to Porter Walmart,” Campbell told Khou 11 News. “I said no. No I am not!”
But Joshua wouldn’t give up.
“[He said] granny, you’ve got to get us some money. I have no gas,” Campbell said.
“I said, you need to learn to go to work and save your money and quit taking it and blowing it for foolishness.”
The deputy who approached Campbell and the teens had the same message.
“He told those boys, you need to quit depending on your grandma for everything. You need to get out and find a job,” said Campbell.
Campbell has helped raise her grandsons since they were infants. She says they are no longer welcome in her home.