Police in Eustis, Florida arrested a 93-year-old woman accused of trespassing after the independent living facility in which she lived reported that she has refused to pay rent.
Juanita Fitzgerald, 93, was held in the Lake County Jail on a $500 bondfor 2 days and was released Thursday on her own recognizance, a Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.
Fitzgerald did not have to pay bond, must appear for a Dec. 27 court appearance, officials said.
Before Fitzgerald left the jail, she showed WFTV the bruises on her arms and legs, injuries she said she received during her arrest.
“Now, can you imagine anybody doing that to an old woman?” she asked. “They wouldn’t treat a murderer like they treated me.”
Bodycam footage released by Eustis police show officers taking a screaming Fitzgerald to jail. At one point, she slides out of her wheelchair onto the ground to avoid arrest.
“There’s no reason for me to leave. Not one,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald said she lived at Franklin House, an affordable housing facility in Eustis, for almost 8 years, and she couldn’t understand why she was being evicted.
According to police reports, she told officers, “Unless you carry me out of here, I’m, not going anywhere.”
Watch video of the arrest below:
Police said they offered Fitzgerald assistance from nearly a dozen agencies to avoid arresting her, but she refused, so they had no choice but to place her under arrest for trespassing.
As officers attempted to escort her out of the building, she intentionally slid out of her chair and onto the floor and resisted when officers tried to pick her up, the report said.
Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, with bruises on her arms and handcuffs around her wrists, Fitzgerald denied the allegations that she didn’t pay rent because she thought she was going to die soon.
“I don’t have anybody. My family is in Tennessee and I told them not to tell my son anything that’s going on,” she said.
Fitzgerald also said she tried to pay rent in October and was refused. She said the Franklin House offered her assistance and tried to find her another home, but she refused and she has refused help from her own family.
“I don’t want them to help me. I don’t need no help. I’ve got all the help I need,” Fitzgerald said pointing to the sky. “I’m a born-again Christian and I’m spirit-filled,” she said.
Fitzgerald also said she would like to go back to Franklin House, if possible.
“Yeah, I’d go back there and live,” she said. “You know, that’s all the people I know.”
Source : Truth Fight