TALK OF DOWNTOWN
Homeless Man Found Swimming in the Pool of a Downtown Condo
The young homeless man lives in Maurice Ferre Park, near the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), a favorite spot for the increasing long-term homeless population.
He crossed Biscayne Boulevard heading to one of Park West’s poshest condos. He crossed the lobby as if he owned the place, como Pedro por su casa, and took the elevator to the 17th floor where the pool is located. He removed his clothes but for the shorts and a blue baseball cap and plunged.
“It happened in broad daylight,” said a resident, who insisted on his anonymity.
The resident, our anonymous chronicler, couldn’t determine if the homeless intruder did laps or simply lounged in the pool. What was certain is that he remained oblivious to the fact that he had committed the crime of trespassing. According to Florida Law, depending on the circumstances, criminal trespass carries penalties that may include jail, probation, and a permanent criminal record. A typical misdemeanor conviction carries up to 60 days in jail. If the defendant possesses a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the criminal trespass, the violation can be charged as a third-degree felony with a maximum term of imprisonment of up to five years.
And there are public health ramifications. What if the man had a disease? What if he had lacerations? There are internal rules to use shared amenities in most condos, one being showering before getting into the pool, which, of course, the homeless man did not observe.
“That’s what gets me,” said the resident, “these men and women are emboldened because they know their actions carry no consequences. For example, homeless men urinate freely around the park despite the presence of families. Public urination is against the law if a public bathroom is available. I see many men urinating against the pedestal of the sculpture Flora, the Collector of Dreams, which stands yards away from the public bathroom.”
Park West residents walk their dogs around the park. Many are familiar with the young man. One, recognizing him in the pool, called the police. Half a dozen officers showed up, more, and a dance of sorts ensued. The officers tried convincing the man to come out from the four sides of the pool. But the man was sticking to his guns (metaphorically.) If the officers were to drag him away handcuffed; he would drag them down into the pool.
The perpetrator might have had a mental disorder — common among the chronic homeless, or a drug problem. Police officers showed him enough patience, but no matter how elastic patience is, it has limits. One police officer stripped down to his underwear and dove to get the trespasser out.
At that point, the anonymous chronicler hurried to the pool area to see up close. The officer dragged the trespasser out and his fellow officers piled on him to handcuff him. Before the man was removed from the premises, he caught a glimpse of our anonymous chronicler and cried out: “Oh, there is my grandfather.”
“Imagine that!” said the anonymous chronicler, “this homeless man covered in tattoos calling me his grandfather! Damn people have no fear of the consequences because there are no consequences for their actions! If we, law abiding taxpayers, did a fraction of what they do, we’d be arrested and convicted.”
Downtown News Miami.
A homeless man trespassed and went for a swim at a private pool. Police took him into custody.
Downtown News: Was the perpetrator taken into custody?
Anonymous Chronicler: Yes. They took him.
Questions remain unanswered. How did the perpetrator know where the swimming pool was? Had he been there before? Will he do jail time or be back in the park tomorrow? Those are the enigmas.