A nicely dressed young African-American man has been going house to house with well rehearsed stories of needing money immediately to attend his grandmother's funeral. The story line is some version of "he's worked so hard he only needs $14 to pay for his AMTRAC ticket," his bus leaves in two hours and he only needs a few more dollars for the fare but has run out of time to work for it. He's really doing this for his mother so she doesn't have to go alone; he works at McDonald's and has time off to go but can't quite afford the ticket.
He will offer to do some work, or to come back and work off the "loan" when he returns. He told us he lives at 523 E. 8th Ave but he is not known as a resident in that area by any neighbors. He is about 5'11" and gave us the name of Damano Dainels. He showed no signs of being on drugs.
He often asks for more after receiving whatever was his first request.
I know of three places he “hit” Wednesday within a block of Seventh and Hatch. I don't think he is dangerous, although he seems to get quite angry when he is turned down. One neighbor said he was doing the same thing in this area a year ago. He is very articulate and seems well acquainted with cities across the country. He claimed today to have attended a Catholic parochial school in Arlington, IL.
I wonder whether there is a group that drops these young people off to cover neighborhoods much like some of the "companies" hit a town and drop off their load of young people to sell magazines or household cleaners, then gather them up at the end of the day and move on?
In any case, don't be drawn in. If he should make any threatening moves or use any intimidation that awakens suspicions or fear, call 911 immediately. I talked to the folks at Crime Check after he left, but waited until confirming with other neighbors so it was too late for them to do anything. If he comes to your door, you can call them immediately. Via e-mail from Sue Hille.