Last Monday, John Davis was reportedly exiting the I-90 in Cleveland, Ohio when he saw a pale, thin man in a wheelchair holding a sign that said something along the lines of, “Love Jesus, Please Help.”
Davis, who has a brother that is paralyzed, says he enjoys helping people, particularly since he knows how much his brother struggles.
“Not only that, but he’s needing some money or he wouldn’t be out there,” Davis remarked of the man in the wheelchair.
So, Davis recalled, he grabbed a couple of dollars and folded them, extending his arm out his window to give the bills to the man.
“He touched it. It hit the ground. At that point, he bent over and he picked it up,” Davis explained.
It was only a few seconds before police cruiser lights began flashing, and an officer reportedly told Davis he was being cited for littering.
“Are you serious?” Davis asked.
“I’m darn serious,” the officer allegedly responded, writing “Throw paper out window,” on the ticket, and in parenthesis, “money to panhandler.”
Watch John Davis’ account of the events, below:
Now, Fox 8 notes that Ohio does have a law that prohibits panhandling and giving money to panhandlers near a highway or street (including a berm, shoulder, treelawn or sidewalk), but that is not what the man was seemingly ticketed for.
When Davis protested, the officer reportedly told him to “take it up with the courts,” where he may have to pay $500, including associated court fees.
“I don’t mean any disrespect toward the police department at all, we need ‘em, but I just wish I didn’t have to pay this ticket,” Davis said.
Not only that, but he said this will undeniably curtail his future charitable givings towards the homeless.
“I’d like to do it again but I’m petrified I’m going to get a ticket.”