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.

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. 

  • Grace Marketplace was supposed to end homelessness
    In 10 years…what a lie & a scam. It turned out to be a bum
    Magnet where all the homeless and released prisoners
    From everywhere Come to GNV to receive benefits.
    City Manager Curry is doing a terrible job. Why can’t
    She take care of the public safety issue of panhandlers
    In the street medians? Why on earth do you allow
    Open container? What benefits does GNV receive
    By allowing drunken people & vagrants walk around
    With open container and act stupid and litter up the
    City with beer cans & bottles? This is a college town
    And parents send their kids here to get an education,
    Not to be killed in a public parking garage downtown
    After midnight or into a fight in midtown outside those
    Bars. A temporary moratorium is in order to remedy
    The stupidity that is happening late night concerning
    Alcohol & large gatherings at Wawa, downtown, midtown, etc. Alcohol should stopped being served
    At 9pm period. No open container. It’s your job to
    Provide public safety for the city and the police cannot
    Do their job with large groups of stupid drunk and
    Who knows what else they are on large crowds. Definitely need to do something about thugs carrying illegal guns too. Ms. Curry, you do know that some
    People are alcoholics and you can’t be enabling
    Vagrants to drink alcohol & terrorize the citizens
    And merchants of the city. Shutting everything down
    By 10pm will lower the city’s carbon footprint too…
    The city commission is full of hypocrites if they don’t
    Try to lower the city’s carbon footprint to stop climate
    Change. City commissioners are part of the problem
    By giving the above issues the blind eye. Stop being
    Complacent. City leaders have caused this problem
    And need to correct it before someone else gets injured
    Or killed by your inaction to the problem. This ain’t
    Cool Mayor Poe. Fix it.

    • And if the parties go to some house near UF, your
      New landlord ordinance should have a point system
      And charge the landlord or take away their permit
      If they cause a ruckus or noise complaint after
      10pm…GPD definitely needs the party patrol to shut
      Down these animal house parties that create a nuisance
      For homesteaders and people who have jobs and need
      To get up and go to work in the morning…homeowners
      Are tired of picking up beer bottles, cans, & red plastic cups. Nip it….Nip it in the bud. No out of control
      Parties in residential neighborhoods. Protect our
      Neighborhoods. Stop trying to bastardize single family
      Zoning too.

      • Where is the website to see all of the heartwarming Homeless-to-Housing cases at GRACE?

  • Will anybody be surprised if Grace Marketplace has a monkeypox outbreak?

    • They probably should ramp up the Covid shots
      & monkey Vax at Grace Mkt to make sure we don’t get an outbreak.
      I would be very careful if giving money to panhandlers
      Too because they might be contagious. It seems commissioners get sick easily too…they need to be
      Getting boosters and keep wearing their masks…

    • They need to close down the bars at 10pm because of
      Covid & monkey pox. That will stop the drunken violence
      And shootings like at the downtown parking garage &
      Wawa on eastside. No large groups assembling where
      Law enforcement cannot control. We do not need another pandemic that’s out of control.

      • Yes. They need to bring back “stay at home & be a superhero”…

  • FEMA Camp Gainesville 2022 at 39th Avenue…brought to you by…everyone WHO is pretending to protect you

    • they have been working on it for several weeks now
      Clearing the land…old fairgrounds next to airport
      Across from Grace Mkt & jail…Waldo road & 39th.

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