Jail Won't Stop Homeless Vet From Completing His Mission

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email
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Roy Gleiter was let go after spending a night behind bars for refusing to leave public property. He says being locked up won’t stop him from finishing his nationwide protest trek.

The 53-year-old has spent over five years pulling a trailer across the country protesting the decline of American society.

Gleiter says being put behind bars only makes him more determined and motivated to finish his mission to change America.

“I met a lot of the people I’m fighting for, and I got to hear people in-depth on how they have a hope for this nation. The people that are considered the bottom dredge. And they love this country just as much as everybody else,” said Gleiter.

Gleiter was released from jail without having to pay his $750 bond. He promised to show up to his next court hearing and to stay in a local homeless shelter until that appearance.

Gleiter was arrested Wednesday for refusing to leave public land along a local highway where he made camp for over six months.

Posada will arrange a Pueblo homeless shelter for Gleiter to stay in. Posada officials tell 11 News Gleiter was offered shelter many times. Not only were a number of organizations offering shelter, but because he is a veteran, he was eligible for housing.

But Gleiter says he can’t help the homeless and the poor, the people he is fighting for, if he doesn’t know what it’s like to be in their shoes. He says he is fighting for a bankrupt nation. He doesn’t want to take the opportunities that other homeless need, when he can survive on his own in a tent. He wants Posada and others to offer the shelter to those who really need it.

Spending time behind bars has made him more motivated than ever.

“And I got to see the inner workings of how the law preys on the poor. It’s systematic of a much larger issue how they prey on the poor, middle class to rob us of our wealth and rights,” said Gleiter.

Gleiter says once he finishes with his court hearings he plans on taking his protest to the next level. Not only will he continue to pull his trailer around, as long as he can get it back, but he plans to add some new visual features.

“They want to put me in jail for being homeless, they want to rob us of our rights and enslave my people. Fine, I will put the chains on for them,” Gleiter said planning to wear chains as he finishes his nationwide trek.

Gleiter cleaned up nicely in jail, getting his first shower in more than a year.

Gleiter is being represented by Pueblo Attorney Matt Martin, who has volunteered to defend him for free.

Seventy-three-year-old Debra Cowden, who lived with Gleiter in the tent off Highway 50 in Eastern Pueblo County, was taken to Parkview Medical Center for evaluation. She has since been released. Gleiter originally told 11 News that she was bipolar and schizophrenic.

Meanwhile, supporters are rallying around Roy Gleiter. Since he was arrested, 11 News has been contacted by numerous concerned citizens wanting to help out Gleiter and Cowdon.

A woman from La Junta created a facebook event called: "URGENT! Roy Gleiter: Out of Jail and Over the Rockies."

Molly Nielsen told KKTV she was going to collect donations in order to pay for his $750 bond. Others have called or emailed showing their support for Gleiter’s cause.

Many are still trying to rally donations in order to get Gleiter’s two German Shepherds back, who are currently at Pueblo Animal Services.

There is a limited time the dogs can stay there, but the shelter says people can help out by donating money for dog food.

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