Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Woman, 93, released from jail after eviction, arrest for not paying rent

Woman, 93, released from jail after eviction, arrest for not paying rent

Juanita Fitzgerald had never been arrested before, but it took at least two Eustis, Florida police officers to drag her to jail for trespassing when she refused to respect an eviction by her independent living facility.

The police report states that, on the day before the cops arrived, workers told Fitzgerald several times that she was going to be evicted and asked her to leave the property.

She resisted all attempts to remove her and purposefully slid to the floor to try to prevent officers from removing her, the news station said.

In the interview video, Fitzgerald's arms were covered in bruises from her standoff with police. Officials at the home say that they contacted her family on several occasions and even spoke with homeless agencies but Fitzgerald refused help.

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A Lake County sheriff's spokesperson said a deputy tried to connect Ms Fitzgerald with members of her family and other housing facilities, but she refused.

Church service representative Karen Twinem said Fitzgerald told the staff she held back rent because she was going to die soon and that there was mold in her apartment. Due to her age, officers transported Fitzgerald without handcuffs to reduce the risk of injury.

Police said they offered Fitzgerald assistance from almost a dozen agencies to avoid arresting her, but she refused, so they had no choice but to place her under arrest for trespassing. I don't need no help. With their hands around her arms, the officers assure her they are applying no pressure, as she is heard screaming that she is in pain. Throughout the video, she cries "you're hurting me" while officers continuously say that they're just trying to help her. Moments later, a woman says "I want her to go in my vehicle - I would love for her to go in my auto". "My family is in Tennessee and I told them not to tell my son anything that's going on", she told WKMG.

"This is extremely rare", said Twinem, who said National Church Residences runs 340 properties. She also allegedly turned down the offer to stay with a nurse who worked there.

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