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Man Holding “Homeless, Broke, and Hungry” Sign Arrested for Possession of Drugs

Man Holding “Homeless, Broke, and Hungry” Sign Arrested for Possession of Drugs

JURUPA VALLEY – A 30-year-old man was arrested while holding a sign identifying himself as homeless and hungry, soliciting money from motorists in the area of Valley Way and the 60 freeway last week.

Last Friday, May 11, 2018, Jurupa Valley Deputies responded after numerous calls were made reporting a pedestrian soliciting money. The deputies contacted Rocco Vitale, 30, who was standing on the center median strip holding the sign. Vitale was not only in violation of the city’s Municipal Code prohibiting soliciting on the roadway median strips, but he was also in possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

moThe City of Jurupa and several other Riverside County cities have prohibited soliciting on the roadway median strip in order to prevent safety hazards associated with the pedestrians standing in roadways, alongside roadways, and to the vehicle occupants traveling on the roadways. Although the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department understands those who want to provide for those homeless, they discourage people from providing money to those soliciting alongside the roadways and encourage donating to nonprofit organizations serving the homeless.

Additionally, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has Deputies assigned to a Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), to help build positive relationships with our homeless population.  This team offers social services and outreach programs not traditionally provided by law enforcement agencies. This team is stationed out of the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station.

For further information, or to discover alternative ways on how YOU can help, HOT can be reached at (951) 955-2600.

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Staff Writer

This article was written by a staff member of the 24/7 Headline News Organization