On Sunday the absurd morphed into the unthinkable as a new law in Florida, which outlaws people from from feeding homeless people in public was put into action against a 90-year-old good Samaritan.
Arnold Abbott, who has been helping needy people in a variety of ways during his life, was told that he is to pay a $500 fine for his “crime” and could face up to 60-days behind bars when sentenced.
Abbott, who prepares hundreds of meals each week for the homeless in the kitchen of the Sanctuary Church, told reporters, “I fully believe that I am my brother’s keeper. Love they neighbor as thy self. We serve two entrées at every feeding.”
Abbott, who was arrested along with two ministers who also face the same punishment as him, said, “One of police officers came over and said ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I was carrying a weapon.”
One of the ministers arrested, Sanctuary Church pastor Wayne Black, also spoke to reporters, sharing, “We believe very strongly that Jesus taught us that we are to feed his sheep.”
Nevertheless, the mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, Jack Seiler told reporters insistently, “We enforce the laws here in Ft. Lauderdale.”
All the way back in 1999, Abbott sued the city for banning him from feeding homeless on beach, a lawsuit he won, “I’m going to have to go to court court again to sue the city of Fort Lauderdale, the beautiful city. These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing. Don’t have a roof over their head, and who could turn them away?” Abbott asked.
On Wednesday, Abbott confirmed that he will be serving food publicly again, despite the fact he was previously arrested when he planned to feed homeless people on the beach. While he confirmed that he doesn’t want to be arrested again, he said he is ready for that possibility.