LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) - An elderly man pretending to be homeless is accused of breaking the law. The 22News I-Team discovered what got this panhandler in trouble.
Panhandlers have to abide by different laws in different towns. In Ludlow, 80 year old Robert Boyce allegedly didn't follow a few of those laws, and will end up in court.
You see panhandlers almost everywhere, but not many are 80 years old. Ludlow police say 80 year old panhandler Robert Boyce broke the law.
(So you've seen this guy before, tell me about him?)
"It's funny, He stands on the corner down there comes out with a shopping bag," said Ludlow's Gus Colson.
Police say Boyce violated a town solicitation by-law by stepping into traffic and collecting money. He also misled police by saying he was homeless when he wasn't.
"As far as him saying he's homeless and he's not, that's very unfair because there's a lot of homeless people around here even if they do the same thing he does they can't get a dime because people don't know if they're lying or not," said a woman from Springfield who didn't want to be identified. .
Ludlow police said Boyce eventually admitted to them that he lives in Chicopee with a woman who drops him off to panhandle in Ludlow.
The 80 year old wasn't arrested, but given a criminal summons to appear in court. He could be fined.
"We can't stop him from pursuing his own endeavors of free will, but he is not going to do that on a public way, he's not going to do that in the middle of the road, and we're not going to allow him to mislead people and lie to people about his condition," said Ludlow Police Sgt. Daniel Valadas.
We also spoke to several people who have seen Boyce panhandling who told us he just should have been left alone.