Published May 24, 2012
CLEVELAND – A Cleveland man says he was given a ticket for littering after a dollar he attempted to give to a man in a wheelchair accidentally fell to the ground, Fox 8 reports.
John Davis told Fox 8 he was on an off-ramp on May 14 when he noticed a man in a wheelchair on the side of the road. The man was holding a sign asking for help, and was pale and thin.
Davis says he believes everyone should help those less fortunate, and he has a particular sympathy for people who have physical disabilities.
“I have a brother that’s paralyzed,” Davis told Fox 8. “My brother’s in that same situation and struggles.”
Davis tells Fox 8 he reached out his car window to give the man a few dollars, but one of the dollars fell to the ground. He says the man picked the dollar up, and Davis headed on his way.
Minutes later, Davis claims he was pulled over by a police officer. His offense? Littering from a motor vehicle.
Fox 8 reports Davis' offense was listed as, "throw paper out window,” and in parenthesis, “money to panhandler.”
Though there is a separate city code prohibiting giving money to panhandlers, Davis says his ticket was solely for the alleged littering, and the ticket may cost up to $500.
“I don’t mean any disrespect toward the police department at all we need ‘em but I just wish I didn’t have to pay this ticket,” Davis told Fox 8.
Davis says he plans to fight the ticket in court, and is now wary of offering money to those in need.
“I’d like to do it again but I’m petrified I’m going to get a ticket," he told Fox 8.