Police remove panhandlers from Moore Square before Artsplosure

From staff reportsMay 15, 2013 

— Three days before the annual Artsplosure festival is expected to bring crowds to Moore Square downtown, police sent a message to street panhandlers with a sweep that resulted in charges against 13 people.

Several uniformed and plainclothes officers from the department’s Downtown District worked the area for several hours on Tuesday.

Ten people were arrested in the 200 block of South Blount Street, while 3 were arrested in the 200 block of Fayetteville Street.

Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said, “Raleigh understands and respects that people have a right to panhandle and has adopted regulations that protect that right while prohibiting overly aggressive and inappropriate begging practices.”

“Those arrested,” Sughrue said, “were charged with violating the begging ordinance or violations of other laws.”

Charges included soliciting for alms, consuming alcohol on city property, trespassing, possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Those arrested were taken to the Wake County Detention Center for booking.

Most were being held in lieu of $500 bail.

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