Police say a man from Little Rock, Arkansas, Shane Warren Speegle, 45, who was arrested on suspicion of panhandling in Oklahoma City said there was no point in getting a job because he made $60,000 last year from panhandling.
NewOn6.com reports that according to the police, at about 1 p.m. on July 4, an officer found Speegle panhandling near Interstate 40 and MacCarthur Boulevard on the north side of I-40 in the median. Speegle had a sign about four feet by four feet that requested money for travel and food. According to the police report, Speegle would go into the roadway to receive money from drivers.
The officer approached Speegle and told him it was illegal to panhandle without a permit. Speegle asked him if he could get a permit immediately and implied he could afford a fee of $200. KOC.com reports that when the officer asked Speegle why he didn't get a job instead of paying $200 for a panhandling permit, Speegle answered,"I'm lazy, and I made $60,000 doing this last year. Why would I go get a job?"
The officer told Speegle that he could not panhandle without an insurance policy and a permit, and warned him to leave. NewsOn6.com reports the officer told him he would also need a $1,000 insurance policy issued by an insurer licensed in Oklahoma.
Speegle then took down the sign and left. But when the officer returned to the spot 20 minutes later, Speegle had returned there and was panhandling.
The officer arrested Speegle on a charge of soliciting from the street and took him to the Oklahoma County jail.
Police found that Speegle also had a warrant from Florida for parole violation, larceny of motor vehicle and another warrant out of Arkansas for soliciting from a street, NewsOn6.com reports.
The Business Insider comments that given that the median US household income in 2011 was between $49,434 and $51,413, Speegle was making roughly $10,000 more than the average American family.