Police Say Panhandling Is Growing

By: Alyssa Chin/AP Email
By: Alyssa Chin/AP Email

Panhandlers are accused of assaulting a woman who refused to give them money in downtown Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs Police report that a woman was approached by panhandlers in the 100 block of N. Tejon Street around 7:40 p.m. Monday. She refused to give them money, and the group began to argue.

The panhandlers followed her into Acacia Park and were joined by at least two others. The argument escalated and the victim was hit in the back of the head by a female as she began to run away. A different suspect also brandished a pocket knife.

The first two suspects were described as a black male in his 60’s, tall and thin, about 6’03”-6’04” wearing a yellow shirt or jacket and a white female about 5’09” tall, in her 30’s with blonde hair wearing a white shirt. The woman allegedly started the argument.

The male suspect with the knife was a black male, middle aged, about 6’00” tall and thin. The woman who assaulted the victim was Hispanic, in her 20’s, heavy with short dark hair.

11 News talked with the Colorado Springs Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) about whether or not this is a growing trend. They told us it may not be as aggressive as this recent attack, but the problem of panhandling is growing. They said it is illegal for panhandlers to hang out in groups after dark and harass you for money.

"That’s all stuff we need to know about so we can address those issues and take those folks in you know and make them accountable for their actions not being out here bulling all the citizens," CSPD officer Dan McCormack said.

They also said, staying safe includes keeping a close eye on your surroundings, trying to walk and stay in groups whenever possible, and try not to engage panhandlers when they're asking for money.

So far, police have made no arrests.

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