Here is a “heartwarming” holiday story out of sunny Florida. Authorities released a 94-year-old woman from jail after police arrested her for allegedly not paying rent at the senior housing community where she had lived since 2011, reported Huffington Post.
Wheelchair bound Juanita Fitzgerald spent her 94th birthday on Friday in a motel room, The Orlando Sentinel reports. The day before, she had been released from Florida’s Lake County Jail, which is where police took her after she was evicted from her home at the National Church Residences’ Franklin House in Eustis, FL. The facility accused her of refusing to leave.
Clad in an orange jumpsuit, Fitzgerald told WFTV reporters earlier this week that she did not understand why she was being evicted.
Bodycam footage from the arrest showed her screaming and sliding to the ground in an apparent attempt to avoid being taken away. A police report obtained by The Miami Herald noted that Fitzgerald had told officers, “Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere.”
While some headlines described Fitzgerald as being “handcuffed,” the police report stated that she was transported to jail without handcuffs because of her age. However, Fitzgerald showed the Sentinel bruises and scratches on her ankles that she said were from prison shackles. A jail spokeswoman told the site that it was typical for inmates to wear restraints, but could not confirm anything specifically about Fitzgerald’s case.