Aggressive Panhandlers A Growing Problem in Greensboro

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro business owner, Barbara Haralson, thinks she's found the perfect spot her store, Wild Birds Unlimited.

Her problem? Panhandlers seems to like it too.

"That's how it started, they were just looking for money. We had no particular interaction with them, but they got bolder as time went on," explained Barbara Haralson, Owner, Wild Birds Unlimited.

Haralson says she's had a growing problem with a pair of panhandlers who patrol the sidewalk outside her shop on the corner of Pisgah Church and Martinsville Road. She says they've harassed her customers and her employees.

They've even bold enough to beg inside her business but she says that's not the worst part.

"He followed me to my car, making cutting motions across his throat, telling me how he was going to hurt me in a not very nice way and he kept walking around my car to the point where I couldn't get out of parking space," explained Haralson.

She says cops have been called several times and even when the panhandler's permit has been revoked, it's usually only a matter of days before they are back on her corner.

"As long as he stays by the sidewalk, he's in a space that's [permissible], but it spills over into my parking lot," explained Haralson.

She added, "I would like to see the parking lots to be considered as part of the property they can't come within a certain distance."

Haralson took her concerns to city council, and Mayor Nancy Vaughan agreed, something needs to be done about the problem. The city attorney is looking at the ordinance and investigating what can be changed.

Haralson is not the only resident concerned about aggressive panhandling. Greensboro Police have already responded to 95 panhandling complaints this year.

READ:City Looks at Ways To Change Panhandler Ordinance

READ: GSO Panhandling Ordinance


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