Only one day after being arrested for feeding the homeless, a 90-year-old man was back at it on Wednesday and found himself under arrest once again.
His first arrest went viral on social media, when police cited and arrested him Tuesday under a controversial new ordinance in his Florida city of Fort Lauderdale.
But Arnold Abbott has been serving hundreds of free meals to the homeless every week in Fort Lauderdale, for the past 24 years.
Abbott, along with two ministers from the Sanctuary Church were first arrested Tuesday night under the new ordinance. But by Wednesday Abbott was back at it, saying that he will not be deterred from his charitable activity.
Police actually allowed Abbott to finish feeding the homeless, but then arrested him once again, as they refused to defy their immoral and unconstitutional orders.
The mayor of the city, Jack Seiler, told Local 10,
“Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn’t think these individuals should have to have any interaction with government, that they should be fed in the parks. We disagree.”
Abbott has responded that
“what the city is doing by cutting out feeding is very simple – they are forcing homeless people to go dumpster-diving all over again.”
“They will steal,” Abbott explained. “That’s what the mayor is forcing the homeless to do.”
Abbott says that he has received support from around the world and across the nation since his first arrest.
“I love the city. I live here, it’s a beautiful place and I’d like to keep it beautiful, but you cannot sweep the homeless under a rug… There is no rug large enough for that.”
Abbott is being threatened with a $500 fine and four months in jail for each arrest.
If you agree that Mayor Seiler has overstepped his bounds and is regulating private, protected activity, then please take a minute and share this article with your friends and family. Encourage them to contact the Mayor and let him know that you support Abbott and that private donations should not be punished!
To contact Mayor Seiler, please call (954) 828-5003 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Article by Moreh B.D.K. and Jackson Marciana; images via the Associated Press)
According to WSVN:
“An elderly man who feeds the homeless on Fort Lauderdale Beach on a regular basis has been cited for the third time for failing to obtain a permit.
Arnold Abbott, 90, was cited by Fort Lauderdale Police as he was surrounded by supporters who showed their support for the founder of the homeless feeding group, Love Thy Neighbor. Abbott started the group in memory of his late wife.”