Vagrant Watch Leader Arrested For Trespassing
The St. johns County jail log shows Vagrant Watch Group leader Evelyn Hammock was arrested just after midnight this morning on charges of trespassing. She was released around 10:30 this morning.
Repots indicate that Hammock was arrested after walking up a stairway to the southern balcony of the Lightner Museum.
The arresting officer said Hammock had been warned before that the area was not public, and that she was not allowed there.
After Hammock reportedly informed the officer she was legally carrying a firearm, she was handcuffed and arrested for armed trespassing after a warning.
The arrest comes on the heels of a lawsuit against the St. Johns County Sheriff for the recent arrest of a homeless man.
According to The Florida Times Union, attorneys with the Southern Legal Counsel, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and local attorney J. Russell “Rusty” Collins filed the lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on behalf of Peter Vigue.
The lawsuit says St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar and Florida Highway Patrol Director Gene Spaulding, through their “policy, practice and/or custom” of enforcing two statutes, are violating the First and 14th Amendment rights of Vigue and other homeless people by prohibiting them from “standing on public sidewalks and streets in St. Johns County holding signs soliciting charitable donations from fellow citizens.”