Bristol woman takes to social media after encounter with aggress - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bristol woman takes to social media after encounter with aggressive panhandler

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Bristol residents say panhandling has become an issue around town (WFSB) Bristol residents say panhandling has become an issue around town (WFSB)

One Connecticut woman said a panhandler waited outside her home door, hid by her car and confronted her aggressively.

The incident took place earlier last week on Stewart Street in Bristol. Neighbors said they are encountering panhandlers around town.

One woman's Facebook post about her ordeal with what she called an aggressive panhandler is now viral.

“My daughter told me her friend had sent her a screenshot of an online posting where the woman had described what had happened to her when she tried to put her kids in the car,” Barbara Stanchfield, daughter lives on the street, said.

Eyewitness News visited Stewart Street where many residents said they had heard about the Facebook post from their female neighbor, who said a panhandler stalked her at her house and aggressively demanded money.

The woman said on 'Bristol Talks' that the man "knocked on the inside door of her multi family home at 5:30 a.m. on Friday. Her boyfriend yelled, who is it and no one answered.

But an hour later, the woman said on the Bristol Talks Facebook page, she leaned into her car to strap in her kids and when she came back out, she felt herself step on a foot.

She went on to say that was the panhandler who demanded $5 and when she told him no, she says he cursed at her. The man also told her he had been watching her and that he would continue to do so.

Now, the aggressive panhandling is the talk of the street and has neighbors worried about their safety.

"My daughter lives right on this street and she has children in the house, so it's very scary."

Neighbors said panhandling in general has become a big problem in many parts of Connecticut especially in Bristol. However, residents said that the panhandling has never been this extreme.

"Years ago, we didn't hear about this and you could keep your doors unlocked,” neighbor Mike Case said. “But unfortunately with the drugs and stuff that are out there, people are going to great extremes to get money to continue their habit.”

Bristol police said while they have no formal report of the incident that doesn't mean it didn't happen. They said going on Facebook isn't enough, that you need to file a report and that way they can increase patrols in the area.  

Police also said if someone aggressively approaches you, don't engage them, get back in your car, lock the doors or walk back in a store or business. Then, you should immediately call the police.

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