Only a few days before her 95th birthday, police have arrested Juanita Fitzgerald, a 93-years-old resident of a senior living facility in Florida.
The police handcuffed and carried her out of her apartment, leaving all her belongings behind.
The reason for Juanita’s arrest might surprise you. She’s almost 94 years, and the senior living facility had accused her of not paying rent. But she claims it’s a lie.
She had late on rent payment, which was $161 at the time.
A devastated Juanita Fitzgerald was kicked out of the Florida senior facility for refusing to pay rent. The police arrested her and charged her of trespassing.
According to a police statement released at the station, Ms. Juanita Fitzgerald told the officers:
“Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere.”
And as the police tried to escort Juanita from the front lobby, she “intentionally slid out of her chair and onto the floor,” according to a police report.
At one point she even grabbed the glasses from the police deputy’s face.
Juanita Fitzgerald had been living at the senior home facility since 2011 before she was evacuated.
The facility is part of the National Church Residences, a religious housing and nonprofit organization based in Ohio, and it has 46 residents.
Juanita refused to leave the police station claiming that everything she owned has been taken away. She worried that the facility won’t accept her back.
“I don’t have anybody. My family is in Tennessee, and I told them not to tell my son anything that’s going on.”
Ms. Fitzgerald reported that she had tried to pay the rent, but the facility refused it. She also said it was the first time for her to get arrested.
The reports of Juanita’s arrest were publicized nationwide. She was only two days to her 94th birthday.
Later, her bill of $500 was posted, and she was released from her cell.
Juanita was able to spend her birthday out of the police station. She was then picked by the Mid-Florida Homeless Coalition which placed in a nearby motel.
The organization claimed that they didn’t want Juanita to spend her night on the street after her release.
According to Mid-Florida Homeless Coalition board member, B.E. Thompson, they were working to accommodate Juanita as soon as possible.
But Ms. Juanita continued to refuse any assistance from the state officials.
The National Church Residence spokesperson, Karen Twinem, reported that Juanita refused to pay rent arguing that she’s dying soon.
Juanita said that she tried offering them half of her property, but the facility refused.
Ms. Juanita was born in Kentucky, and she prefers reading King James Bible over other versions, according to Orlando Sentinel.
She has two children, both living in Tennessee. She had been married twice, and she divorced her second husband in 1970.