Sheriff’s Deputy Swallwell was going about his business when he got word that a homeless man was panhandling on the freeway off-ramp. He went out to go give him a citation, but when he spoke the man he had a change of heart.
Michael Myers was greeted by the officer and said that he told him, “you can’t be on this freeway anymore and I’m going to write you a ticket.” But as they started to speak, Deputy Swallwell realized that a ticket wasn’t going to help anything.
“I started to get to know more about him and I realized he didn’t need a citation, he needed someone to help him,” Swalwell said. Myers was unlike other panhandlers he had met. He had no criminal record, no substance abuse issues and he had tried several times to get off the streets.
“He told me, ‘no you don’t understand. I’ve done it before. I get turned away. I’ve applied for benefits before, but I don’t have ID so I can’t get any assistance.’” Swalwell explained. It was at this point that he decided he was going to do more than just let him off with a warning, he was going to do everything he could to help him get his life back on track…