You may have heard that Oshkosh's "favorite" panhandler was arrested early Friday morning. I thought you might like to know how that happened.
As I pulled into work around 3:15 Friday morning I spotted what appeared to be a large pile of garbage next to the driveway to our studio building. At first, I thought someone from WalMart Nation had decided to use the sidewalk as their personal dumping grounds. But as I turned in to our parking lot, I noticed that two legs were sticking out of the pile.
When I got up to our studios, a co-worker was already here and I asked him if he had noticed the pile of garbage at the end of our driveway. He stated that he had--but he had not noticed the legs sticking out. That led to a conversation as to whether that might be the "Beggar Woman" who has made the WalMart driveways her new "workplace" (refusing to move aside for bikers and pedestrians I might add).
A few minutes later, the co-worker poked his head in the Newsroom and asked for the non-emergency phone number for the Oshkosh Police Department--as he thought someone should check on the person in the garbage pile just to make sure they are okay. Now, I think that says a lot about the quality of life and the quality of people living here in Oshkosh--as the sight of a person lying in a pile of garbage bags still raises some concern about that their well-being--and is not just considered "part of the landscape".
Anyway, the cops come and it turns out the Professional Panhandler had her 19 and 17-year old sons sleeping with her on the sidewalk. As one of them is a minor, Child Protective Services were called in and apparently she lost it and was arrested for disorderly conduct and child neglect.
For some of you, this will only add to your sympathy for a woman who chooses to avoid holding a job and who appears to relish her public exposure. Others will continue to tolerate her personal choices--but will rightly question why she exposes her minor dependent to such a lifestyle. That is a debate for another day I guess. I just thought you might like to know "the rest of the story" on her arrest last week.