New body camera video shows phony panhandlers being arrested

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 10:11 PM -04:00 Updated:

Brand new police body camera video shows phony panhandlers posing as non-profits being arrested.

"Put your bucket down, both of you, put your hands on the car, both of you put your hands on the car," said Fort Myers Police officer Timothy McCormick to John Frye and Kenneth Bull.

The fundraisers were claiming to be with a church asking for money at busy intersections in Lee and Collier counties.

In July, Frye and Bull were arrested at the busy intersection of U.S. 41 and Boy Scout Drive.

Frye claimed to be with an organization out of Tampa called New Life when confronted by officers.

"Your organization has been warned, by me alone, at least 10 times," officer Timothy McCormick said to Frye and Bull.

Soliciting in Lee and Collier counties is illegal unless the solicitor has a permit.

Collection of Donations in the County Rights-of-Way

Code of Ordinances

Article VIII

"So you won't cut me a break for being honest with you?" Kenneth Bull asked Officer McCormick.

"I can't. My higher up said to fix the problem and I'm fixing the problem," McCormick said.

Frye and Bull were charged with violating a city municipal ordinance for asking, begging or soliciting money on a public street.

In both Lee and Collier counties, there are laws in place to prevent panhandling.

While deputies and police officers have made two dozen arrests this year, the majority of them were homeless people begging for money. The two arrests were the only ones involving fake fundraisers.

If you see phony panhandlers posing as nonprofits, email us at investigators@nbc-2.com

Related: Panhandlers posing as nonprofits move to Collier County

RelatedPanhandlers posing as nonprofits return to Lee County intersection