People — December 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

93-Year-Old Arrested For Not Paying Rent


A 93-year-old woman has had the worst experience of her life when she was arrested for apparently not paying rent for her apartment in an independent living center in Eustis, Florida.

According to Eustis police, the woman identified as Juanita Fitzgerald , 93 , was accused of illegally entering an apartment in an independent living center after she apparently refused to pay the rent for the last three months.

The elderly defendant would turn 94 on Friday and since Tuesday she was admitted to the Lake County jail on $ 500 bail.The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Fitzgerald was released on Thursday at her own expense.

Authorities said the woman did not have to post bail but must appear in court on December 27. Karen Twinem of National Church Residences , owner of Franklin House where the defendant has lived since April 2011, said the old woman had told the staff that she was withholding the rent because she thought she would die soon.

In addition, the businesswoman said that Fitzgerald had also been complaining of mold in his apartment, but apparently they did tests and nothing was found infected.

The authorities contacted the woman’s family on several occasions to try to obtain aid including in the efforts to several agencies for people in need but Fitzgerald rejected all the assistance offered.

On the other hand, the court documents describe how Fitzgerald resisted the eviction of the apartment located at 2400 Kurt St. in Eutis, Florida . Center staff said the woman was aware that she would be evicted and repeatedly asked to leave the property, however, she refused to pick up her belongings and left.

When the agents tried to get the woman out of the building , she intentionally slid off the chair to fall on the ground and resisted when the agents tried to pick her up.

Fortunately Fitzgerald will not spend her 94th birthday in jail , but will stay at the residence of an acquaintance after leaving the detention center of Lake County in Florida.

Brad Bennett

Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children.

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