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Four homeless people arrested over roughly 24 hours

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Four homeless people were arrested between early Sunday morning and early Monday morning in separate cases; three of them were picked up on warrants from previous incidents.

Melissa Yvette Carter, 46, who is listed as homeless on the arrest report, was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with trespassing and indecent exposure after taking off all her clothes in the North Florida Regional Medical Center (NFRMC) parking lot.

According to the arrest report, officers took her to NFRMC after she complained of chest pain, but once she was there, she would not let doctors medically evaluate her. Due to her “aggressive behavior,” she was asked to leave the hospital, but as she walked out, she allegedly turned and exposed herself to staff. Once outside, she allegedly began yelling and cursing, then turned toward security officers and took off all her clothing. According to the report, she was completely naked in the middle of the roadway on hospital property. She is being held on $10,000 bond. She has been arrested numerous times since 2016 and has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial in at least one case.

April Shafer Cechak, 51, was arrested early this morning on a warrant for damaging a fence at a dentist’s office in October of 2021. She is listed as homeless on the arrest report. Her bail amount is $99, but she has not had her First Appearance because she is in the hospital.

Kenneth Matthew Hammer, 41, whose address is listed as GRACE Marketplace, was arrested yesterday on a warrant for failing to comply with the conditions of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement on a trespassing charge. He pled nolo contendere to the trespassing charge at his First Appearance today, was adjudicated guilty, and was ordered to work off court costs with community service.

Donald Andrew Latham, 43, whose address is listed as GRACE Marketplace, was arrested early this morning at the Wawa on E. University Avenue on a warrant for leaving mental health treatment against medical advice. He is being held without bond.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Very good. Now, get the bum sleeping at the bus stop shelter
    Near 13th & 23rd a few blocks north of GHS and the
    Panhandler in the center of the median last night in
    That busy intersection at 13th & 23rd by that Wawa.
    Don’t tell me law enforcement doesn’t see this. The
    Bum in the median had his suitcase with him, the
    Bum sleeping in the bus shelter looked pretty stinky.
    Why is the guy sleeping in the bus stop shelter when
    We have Grace marketplace? Why didn’t law enforcement stop & tell both these people to move/on?
    The interim city manager needs to address this. The interim city manager is doing a crappy job. GNV is
    Looking junky. It’s managements fault. They need to
    Create a work program for the homeless with those
    American rescue funds. “Don’t be a panhandler, be
    A canhandler”…if that don’t work, then close Grace
    Marketplace down because all it does us attract more
    Vagrants and mental patients to GNV.

    • And at the intersection of Waldo Rd & NW 39th just West of Grace
      Mkt and the jail…how come law enforcement doesn’t
      Keep the panhandlers out of the street Medians there?
      Don’t tell me they don’t see it…
      It’s a public safety issue. The city and county will be
      Liable if one of these panhandlers gets run-over because they were complicit and allowed the illegal
      Behavior on an ongoing basis.

  • Hope all you lemmings are enjoying the crime. These people follow Poe “the pole smokin’ Piper” just like you do.

    Don’t be a hypocRAT, give them a place to live in your home and get them off the streets.

    • Crimesville… let’s put things into perspective…do you know what Grace Marketplace’s total
      Yearly budget is including equipment, salaries, etc is
      Divided by the total number of homeless serviced divided by 365 so we know what we are spending daily
      For everyone who is getting benefits there? At one time is was like $200/day, ( thats $6,000 month for each vagrant)…that’s big business huh? Let’s attract more here!!!not sure what the numbers are now… Do you know what it costs the taxpayers to house one homeless
      Person under section 8? About $1000/mo.Do you know
      What it costs to educate one child/mo in our public school system? About $1000/mo.($10k to $12k/yr).

      • Why are there guys sleeping in bus shelters & panhandling in street medians when we spend $200/
        Day on each vagrant now. They should go to city hall
        Daily and get $100 cash after they fill up some large
        Trash bags filled with street trash. They should show up at sunrise at city hall, get their trash cart & bright vest & trash
        Picker & clean up the litter in the streets. Create a program where we help them help themselves!!!
        Win win for all.

        • Nice. Turn trash into cash and keep Gainesville clean & green. That will help save turtles from choking on face masks and help achieve zero waste by 2035. Why hasn’t Poe & Co initiated
          The project? Because they are not true leaders and unwilling to learn. They are full of themselves.

          • It won’t work because the vagrants are lazy
            And why work when government programs enable them by
            Giving them free shiz and they don’t have to work. The bums just want to do their meth and
            Weed and booze and crime.

        • What about all those millions in American rescue funds handed out to the non-profits? Divide that by the number of homeless serviced at Grace.

          • We shouldn’t see one bum sleeping on a bus bench or panhandler in the street with Grace mkt. maybe they need to be audited like the city.

        • What “industries” does Gainesville have? Cat furniture and bean bag chairs? Grace should partner with Molly and Friends or Corda-Roys to use the people in the program as full-time laborers. It would be best if that could be done at Grace so that the residents wouldn’t have to leave during the week. If they’ve been behaving well and staying out of trouble, they could have privileges to leave Grace on the weekends as long as they are back by sundown each day. Three-fourths of their income would go into a Fresh Start account which they could cash out and use to move out of Grace once they reach $2,500 in their account, or slightly more (up to $5,000) if they feel they need more money to find a place to live and buy some necessities. At that point, they would be in the habit of working every day instead of being a mental vegetable holding a cardboard sign to get money to buy crack to smoke.

          • That sounds like a great idea. Put together work Crews with people of various skills. Maybe they can put a crew together to clean city hall and sanitize it of germs…a crew to clean up trash after the 5th Ave Arts festival…
            A crew to wipe & sanitize the city buses.

  • Has anyone noticed all the trash underneath I-75 at the Newberry Road Exit? Another clean-up opportunity there.

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