"She banged on my window"; Residents concerned about 'scary' & 'aggressive' panhandler


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Scary and aggressive: that's how a number of people are describing a panhandler they've seen around the Rivermont and Boonsboro areas.

Lynchburg city officials made panhandling illegal back in 2006.

One driver says about a week ago she was in the car with her 16-month-old child when a woman approached her car.

"The light was changing and out of nowhere comes this lady, frantic, and about to grab the door open," said Ariel Oliver.

Oliver says the woman was asking for money, but she immediately locked her doors and drove off.

"It's sad to say because you want to be the person that helps someone else if they are desperate and frantic, but you also can’t take the risk of somebody hurting you or your children," Oliver said.

Just a few blocks away the manager at Magnolia Foods on Rivermont Avenue, Amanda Fisher, says she has encountered, who she believes, is the same woman.

"She banged on my window and asked me for money," Fisher said. "I told her I would be more than happy to get you an Uber, but I don’t have any cash on me."

Fisher says the woman did not accept the offer to get an Uber, but she's seen her two more times.

"She comes up with a sob story about her car is broken down and all this and it’s the same story every time," Fisher added.

Dozens of people on the Next Door app describe the same story, and various business along Rivermont and Boonsboro Roads said they've seen her too. Lynchburg Police say in the last month they have received six phone calls about a person panhandling in the area, but they couldn’t confirm it’s the same woman since she wasn’t arrested in these cases.

Both Oliver and Fisher said this isn't the first panhandler they've encountered in the area.

Lynchburg Police suggest if you see someone doing it, don't give them money, instead donate to a local charity that could help them.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off