Guthrie Police Concerned Panhandlers Could Become Violent

Thursday, July 13th 2017, 6:51 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Guthrie police are looking for a couple of aggressive panhandlers before things turn violent. The couple hasn't hurt anyone, at least not yet. But, Guthrie Police fear it could be just a matter of time.

Guthrie Police Sgt. Anthony Gibbs says the man tells people he is a veteran trying to return to his home out of state. The couple is driving a white Chevy Venture with Oklahoma tags. If people say no, "The reaction is almost violent. There's a lot of cursing. There's a lot of posturing," Gibbs says.

The couple approached the Bible Baptist Church in Guthrie where Seth Robbin's dad is the pastor.

"Being that my dad was interacting with a bunch of the parishioners that were leaving, he didn't have time to go in and get a check or anything like that,” Robbins said.  “So he just gave this gentleman everything he had in his wallet, which I think if I remember right was $40 to $44 and instructed the man to get some fuel, go home and God bless you."

But the couple didn't leave. Instead, the man started bugging other parishioners. So the pastor asked him to leave. 

"The man just continued to argue with him and argue with him and argue with him. He wanted the right to literally panhandle all the people who were leaving the church. Anyway it escalated and got pretty ugly."

Fortunately it ended peacefully this time. Police and Robbins fear next time it won't.  

“(I hope) that it doesn't escalate to the point that somebody gets physically hurt, either the people he's asking for or somebody gets scared for their safety and does something to him," Robbins said.