The city of Fort Lauderdale has issued three criminal citations against Arnold Abbott, but he says he has no fear of spending time in jail.
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, reports WSVN
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.
Police moved the crowd aside, walked over to Abbot and issued him the citation, which is a criminal misdemeanor, but allowed the feeding to carry on. “They are asking you please to cease and desist in serving food. Are you willing to comply?” asked one officer.
This is Abbott’s third citation. He was previously cited by Fort Lauderdale Police for serving food to the less fortunate at that location. The city has offered Abbott two other places to continue his work with the homeless population: the Aquatic Complex and the Church by the Sea.
But Abbott refused to leave the beach. “Everybody in the world has the right to come to this beautiful beach and enjoy eating a meal on this beautiful beach no matter where it comes from,” he said.
He plans to fight the citations in court with the help of two lawyers. After being cited, he offered food to a cop. “No thank you, sir. I appreciate the offer,” the officer responded. “If you were to go to the aquatic center and serve me, I would take it right there.”