Missed that it was a joke, Linkat. Sorry.
actually, I didn't take it as a joke, because that's exactly what alot of them do during the winter.
I lived in fla a long while, and we always knew it was winter when there was a big increase in people sleeping on the beach.
This just in: Homeless man chooses jail over selling $6,500 motorcycle.
Quote:William Richard Brooks II loved his Harley-Davidson motorcycle so much he wasn't willing to part with it, even if that meant risking a stretch in prison.
So when a prosecutor offered him a plea deal with only three months in jail for a hit and run -- providing that he give up his motorcycle as restitution -- he turned it down.
"Because that's the last thing on earth I own," Brooks said.
But last week Brooks learned he'd lost his gamble when a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge sentenced him to 15 months behind bars for smashing into another motorcyclist and leaving the scene of the accident.
Brooks, 51, struck motorcyclist Craig Sample, 37, on July 30 as Sample slowed to make a turn in the 18900 block of Northeast Marine Drive in Gresham. The impact injured Sample's back and caused more than $3,000 in damage to his bike.
Brooks, who had no insurance, stopped at first, then fled as a crowd gathered. Someone wrote down Brooks' license plate, but it took Gresham police a few months to track him down because Brooks was homeless and had enlisted a friend to hide his bike for him, according to prosecutor Christine Mascal.
Mascal said she was willing to offer Brooks 90 days in jail because she wanted to be sure Sample would recover his losses. Brooks bought his bike for $6,500 from a Baker City couple shortly before the accident, and that would have come close to covering the damages.
Speaking from the Justice Center jail after his sentencing hearing Friday, Brooks admitted he made a mistake by fleeing the scene of the accident.
"I made sure he wasn't bleeding and he hadn't broken any bones or anything, and I took off," Brooks said.
Brooks said he left because he was worried he might lose his bike, a brilliant blue 2002 Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom -- the bike he always dreamed of owning.
The bike, Brooks said, was the way out of a dark spell in his life. He said his wife died of cancer in 2002, he'd lost his house in Stevenson, Wash., because he couldn't make payments, and he'd spiraled into using drugs.
He said the Harley would allow him to restart work as a heavy machinery operator. Having it as transportation was more important than having a home. Brooks was camping along the Columbia River around the time he bought the bike in May 2007.
A few months later, he crashed into Sample. Police eventually tracked him down, and Mascal, the prosecutor, offered him the deal in March.
Brooks, who was represented by court-appointed attorney Michael Rees, pleaded no contest to hit-and-run but requested a pre-sentence investigation.
A sheriff's office employee would recommend his punishment, in part, based on his previous criminal history, which included drug and theft convictions. Brooks figured the recommended sentence would be lighter than the prosecutor's offer.
But last week, the report came back, and the author recommended 15 months in prison, which is the term listed under Oregon's sentencing guidelines. On Friday, Judge Youlee You saw no reason not to follow the recommendation.
You also ordered Brooks to pay $7,300 in restitution. But that doesn't mean he'll have to sell his Harley. He'll be allowed to come up with the money some other way.
"Am I sad it worked out the way it did? Yeah," said Brooks, who claims his lawyer gave him bad advice. "But would I throw the dice again for my Harley? Yeah. Yup. Yup. Yes, I would."
But this new guy on the corner near my house makes me a little insane.
Maybe it's because he can't settle on a reason for being there - work for food, trying to get home, disabled vet - he's a true renaissance panhandler, I guess.