Homeless man refuses repeated requests to leave business, causing owner to consider closing


Shawn Christopher Williams, 31, was arrested yesterday morning after repeatedly trying to enter a business, frightening the owner to the point where she considered leaving her store closed.

According to the arrest report, Williams, who is homeless and has a long list of trespassing and theft convictions, tried to enter Zeezinia International Market on SW 13th Street early on May 23, before the business opened. The business owner reported to police that she was afraid of him and asked police to trespass him from her property. She told police that she was considering leaving her business closed for the morning.

The Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer verbally told Williams to leave the property several times and warned him that he would be subject to arrest if he did not leave. After “numerous warnings,” Williams left the property.

However, he allegedly returned about 2 hours later, and the business owner called police again, saying Williams was pulling on the door of her business and saying he loved her. She said she did not know Williams.

When a GPD officer responded, he asked Williams why he had returned, and Williams reportedly said he was trying to get something to eat.

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Williams has a long list of local arrests. Just in 2021, he has convictions for public urination and four trespassing convictions; he has two trespassing convictions in 2022, along with the current charge and a battery charge from May 17. He is being held on $10,000 bail.

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.