Jail Won't Stop Homeless Vet From Completing His Mission

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email

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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  • by dspan Location: kansas on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM
    fter this trip he says he is going home to the girls. Do they want the responsibilty of him and Mom".That would be a lot for is daughters tyo handle expecially if they have childern. I think "mom" needs to be with her family and if she don't have one she needs to be cared for in a nursing home. Out in the cold and heat talk about abuse,what if she gets sick. He don't need any animals this is animal crulity he isn't able to care for them.Bet they don't have rabies shots either. If he wants to walk and say he is homeless Please for the better of mankind let him walk but alone. He is a control freak. Take care of "MOM' and the "dogs" they need HELP.
  • by Bradman on Jan 20, 2012 at 04:59 PM
    There you have it. Tom volunteers to take him in.
  • by tom smithwick Location: 80918 on Jan 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM
    Man sets up residence on unused land of which he is clearly the first occupier. Group of men bring guns to kidnap him, lock him up and steal his stuff. To determine the actual criminals in this circumstance, we have to ask, who used unprovoked aggression and force to 'resolve' this situation? This man’s fight is all of our fight, he tried to live in ‘the kings forest’ and met resistance from those paid by stolen funds. Good people, who have unfortunately accepted amoral orders by their bosses.
  • by watching Location: USA on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM
    @Melanie - what part of SCAM eludes you? Feel free to take him into your home. Use your money and resources to care for his free-loading ways so we taxpayers don't have to. Then, when he refuses to leave your property, remember we all told you so while you wait the 3 months it takes to evict him.
  • by Bob Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:48 AM
    This man is a fraud. I am a truck driver and seen him early last year camped out on U.S Highway 56 in Kansas. When the News Media there interviewed him he said he was protesting and on his way to Washington. Soon after Kansas police ran him off he showed up there on U.S Highway 50 in Colorado...Guess he went the wrong way. Also heard from other drivers he was on U.S. Highway 87 in New Mexico before he was in Kansas.
  • by Jay on Jan 20, 2012 at 09:13 AM
    Six months camping for free on land that is not his and not moving on when told. A YEAR since a shower when there are free showers at the shelters. I don't consider it "taking care" of a mentally ill woman when she has not been showering or under medical care for bipolar and schitzophrenia. If I were to be leaving my grandmother in those conditions people would be screaming that it is elder abuse. This man ma be trying to make his statement but to me it sure sounds like the usual blaming the government for his unlawful actions. I hope he gets some help and does not profit off this sad situation.
  • by Bradman on Jan 20, 2012 at 08:04 AM
    He's claiming to be a Vietnam veteran. He's was only 16 when the war ended. Not old enough to be there. This is just part of his scam to get people to feel sorry for him and to be able to impose himself on others.
  • by Paul Location: Pueblo on Jan 20, 2012 at 04:46 AM
    "Jail Won't Stop Homeless Vet From Completing His Mission".... looks like jail did a pretty good job to me. Have you seen his junk on the side of the highway? Finally gone.. good riddance!
  • by Melanie Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 20, 2012 at 03:47 AM
    I can guarantee, Observer, that this man has more brains in his head than you do in your little finger. He's fighting for his rights as a veteran....he fought to save our country and you, and instead of knocking him down because he's homeless by your remark, maybe you should join the bandwagon and help him and the rest of these veterans who are trying to save our country from going into the toilet. I know I am.
  • by Observer on Jan 19, 2012 at 11:58 PM
    Can he even spell "job"?
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