Homeless TX vet ticketed for digging through trash

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 12:36pm

A homeless veteran in Texas was ticketed by police for searching through a garbage can for food. The case has sparked outrage from activists who say it's a waste of resources.

On the ticket, the officer wrote "disturbing the contents of a garbage can in the Downtown Central Business District."

The CEO for Coalition for the Homeless, Marilyn Brown, says often times a citation for a homeless person leads to a litany of more tickets.

"If you don't have a car, if you don't have transportation, you may not even know what day it is to go to court. So, it does start compounding very quickly and they can add up."

In a statement released to Eyewitness News, HPD said, "An officer has probable cause to issue such a citation when a person is opening a lid and rummaging through contents of a dumpster or trash can."

Reporter: "Does it do any good to get a ticket?

Homeless man: "Not really. You ain't going to be able to pay for it anyhow, so I guess you'll have to sit it out in jail or something."

Local station KTRK reports an attorney has offered to represent the man pro bono at his court date.

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