Getting arrested by the police is something that no one would ever want to experience. So just imagine the horror that this elderly woman has felt when she got arrested by the police a few days before her 94th birthday.
Juanita Fitzgerald was arrested a few days before her 94th birthday at the Florida senior living facility. The officers handcuffed her and carried her from her residence, the senior living facility, and left all of her belongings behind.
Why would a 94-year-old woman get arrested?
Apparently, the police accused her of being late on her rent payment – $161. According to the police reports, Miss Fitzgerald told the officers, “Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere. ” And according to the reports, while the officers attempted to escort her from the senior home lobby, the woman ‘intentionally slid out of her chair and onto the floor.
’ The reports also revealed that at one point, the woman grabbed the glasses from the deputy’s face.
Since 2011, the senior facility was Juanita’s home. This facility housed 46 residents living there and is also a part of the National Church Residences, a religious housing nonprofit that is based in Ohio.
And after the police authorities arrested her, everything she owned are now all gone. She claims that her biggest concern now is if the facility would still allow her to come back after the incident. She said, “I don’t have anybody. My family is in Tennessee and I told them not to tell my son anything that’s going on.”
The woman said that she also tried to pay her rent but the facility refused to accept it. The reports of her arrest have been publicized nationwide. And this prompted more efforts to help her. And luckily, her $500 bail was posted and she was released from jail.
And thankfully, she was able to spend her birthday. She was then taken care of by the Mid-Florida Homeless Coalition. She was put into a nearby motel after her bail was posted and was told that she was free to go. The organization only wanted to make sure that Juanita doesn’t end up on the streets after she was released from jail.
B.E. Thompson, the organization’s board member stated that they are already working with her to accommodate her as quickly as they can. But despite the offered help from the state officias and the social service agencies, Juanita continued to refuse them.
Karen Twinem, the spokesperson and owner of the National Church Residences told WKMG that Miss Fitzgerald said that she would not pay the rent because she thought that she would die soon. The woman said that she offered half of all of her properties but the facility turned her down.
She is now receiving assistance with the help of a local Florida resident. A GoFundMe page was also set up for her to help with her housing situation.
“Lord, the living I’ve done since then,” Fitzgerald said.
The Orlando Sentinel stated that Juanita was born in Kentucky. She has a second child who is living in Tennessee. Her children are from her first marriage when she eloped while she was 17-years-old. She then divorced her second husband in 1970.