According to AJC.com, a 93-year-old woman from Eustis, Florida was arrested last Wednesday night for refusing to leave her home on the order of an eviction notice. Juanita Fitzgerald, who lived at National Church Residences’ Franklin House, was reportedly jailed just two days before her 94th birthday.
Police justified the arrest, explaining in a report that the elderly woman had been “made well aware the day prior of her being evicted.” Officers had confronted Fitzgerald in the lobby of the senior living facility and asked her repeatedly to get her belongings and leave. The police report says that “she refused officers’ commands and stated, ‘unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere.”
Even after being warned that she would be arrested if she did not leave, police say Fitzgerald refused to move. She reportedly again told police “carry me out of here.”
According to the police report, Fitzgerald first slid to the floor as officers attempted to physically remove her from the building. Efforts to lift her 5-foot, 100-pound frame were also met with resistance. It was noted in the report, that officers did not handcuff the nonagenarian because of “her age and possibility of injury.” Eventually arrested, Fitzgerald was taken to the Lake County Jail where she is being held in lieu of a $500 bond on the charge of trespassing.
Fitzgerald was reportedly evicted for rent arrears and say Franklin House staff, she refused their offer “to help her move,” as well as “assistance from the Department of Children and Families, The Homeless Coalition, Department of Elder Affairs and eight other agencies.”