Judge Hurley Is Right To Throw Beggar In Jail


Some may call Broward Judge Jay Hurley Scrooge after locking up a  panhandler on Christmas week.

I call him Santa Claus.

Jay Hurley

He gave a gift to every driver bothered by sleazy beggars with their hand out for drinking money. 

Panhandler John Kenney found himself in front of Hurley for the ninth time on the same charge panhandling in the street, according to Channel 10.

The do-gooders will say Kenney has a constitutional right to ask for money.  Not really.  Numerous court rulings say panhandling can be controlled and laws against it can be enforced.

I say Kenney’s rights ended when he repeatedly confronted drivers, begging for a handout.

Panhandling is one of the offenses that most detracts from our quality of life.

When Rudy Giuliani became mayor of New York, his first step was to make the streets livable again by getting rid of the panhandlers.  He was praised.  The city felt safer and became more pleasant overnight.

New York panhandlers were particularly aggressive.  Stop at a red light and a seedy-looking “squeegee man” would rub some pages torn out of the Daily News over your windshield and then loudly demand money for the “cleaning” job.

Unless we get control of panhandling in Broward, we will get the same belligerent bums in our face here.

Hurley’s move is a step towards sending the right message into the streets.

The well-meaning folks in the social service community will disagree with me.  I don’t see the vast majority of these men as sympathetic figures.

Most weren’t thrown out of a job by the economy. Or dealt a bad hand by society.   

They are drunks.  They don’t want to work.  They want to drink or take drugs.

Yes, substance abuse is an illness. I don’t have to subsidize that illness.

There are plenty of AA meetings in Broward to help them.  There are programs that can give them a hand.  There are churches.  There is the Salvation Army.

Most don’t want to be in programs.  Because in programs, you can’t drink or take drugs.

Yes, some are mentally ill.  They need treatment and there is not enough programs treating the mentally ill.  Not my problem when I’m driving to Publix.

I for one am sick of being asked to pay a street tax every time I stop at a light at Interstate 95.

So let’s get real.  These guys don’t really want money. They want hooch.

If you feel a need to give beggars something during the holidays, give them the Christmas cheer they are seeking.  Give them one of those little bottles of booze they serve on airplane.

I guarantee you’ll get a big Merry Christmas in return.

After all, you just saved them a trip to the liquor store.

37 Responses to “Judge Hurley Is Right To Throw Beggar In Jail”

  1. GOPapa says:

    Finally, someone in the media who isn’t a bleeding heart sobbing about the plight of the poor homeless men on the corner. I’m sick of them too, Buddy.

  2. Chaz Stevens, Author says:


    You have completely jumped the fucking shark on this post.

    >> Panhandling is one of the offenses that most detracts from our quality of life.


    People needing assistance bothers you that much? You don’t happen to live in Boca do you? Apparently, some of Sam Field’s fellow fuck-those-dogooders has rubbed off on you.

    There are so many things wrong with your viewpoint, however I will address just two.

    1/13 adult Americans has a drinking problem. Perhaps you are one of them. Hopefully not.

    But that’s not the point.

    Suppose Buddy, you have a bad day at the office. You might find yourself wanting to go home “and have a beer to take the edge off.” Now imagine no home to go to.

    You assume most folks on the street are drinkers or druggies. I’d love to see your statistics proving this out.

    By the way, AA is not a program.

    From the AA Preamble – It is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

    I don’t mean any disrespect, but you have not a fucking clue about AA. Stop reading off the back of a cereal box.

    Once, about two winters ago, on a cold rainy winter night, at the exit ramp of I-95/10st in Deerfield, a young lady, terribly under-dressed for the weather and very visibly pregnant, was standing there with sign in hand asking for assistance.

    Being the bleeding liberal heart socialist I am, I gave everything in my wallet. At that time, I was just let go from my software contract, so I was not in the greatest of financial shape, but she got all that I had.

    Looking around at the fancy and expensive cars, I knew that others probably had fat cash in their wallets. Perhaps they were on way to a shindig at your house where you and Sam were hosting a “Fuck the Poor” party.

    NONE besides me gave a penny — to a pregnant woman braving the cold weather needing a helping hand.

    I really enjoy your work Buddy, I really do. But fuck you and anyone else for thinking this way.

    I hope that someday you become homeless and find yourself panhandling. If you do, you’ll be hoping that the next car that rolls up is me – for I will also help those in need. Always.

    Buddy, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Sorry, Chaz. We disagree on this. We can’t agree on everything. I don’t even agree with my wife on everything.

    By the way, I covered the building of the Homeless Center on Sunrise Boulevard. Most homeless advocates I met recommend not giving money to folks in the street because it enables them to continue a distructive lifestyle, rather than seek help.

    I am sympathetic to the poor. I don’t believe the United States should turn into India, where the poor are all over the streets begging.

    Oh and by the way, I give money to both the Salvation Army and the Broward Homeless Center.

  3. About Time says:

    Thank you Buddy! More people need to tell it like it is.

    I can’t even leave my window down when I drive down some roads and I wouldn’t dare have my window down when I get off I95 and Oakland Park Blvd.

  4. Pineystride says:


    Actually, I agree with you. Some of these guys are really agressive and it can be dangerous for everyone involved, including the moron wandering around in traffic begging for money.

  5. Senator John Blutarsky says:

    I agree Buddy. If these panhandlers were passive, that would be one thing. Working in the downtown, however, I’ve encountered hundreds of aggressive hobos threatening me if I don’t help. I can take care of myself, but I feel terrible for some of the women that have to encounter these ruffians, sometimes being subjected to unconfortable sexual (verbal) assualts.

  6. Anon says:

    Begger (sp?) misspelled in headline. Beggar.

    FROM BUDDY: Absolutely right. Thanks. I appoint you my unofficial copy editor.

  7. disenchanted says:

    buddy where is your holiday spirit, give him a sawbuck for christmas…. he probably was a reporter and is now , what so many of them are, unemployed..

    FROM BUDDY: Probably was a reporter. That would account for the drinking problem!

  8. Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas says:

    1 in 7 Americans are now on food stamps.

    Over 2 million American citizens are homeless. Approximately 30% are children. Over 250,000 are veterans. Nearly half are mentally ill.

    There are no beds in Broward County in-patient mental health facilities and many have a 6 month waiting list (unless you have insurance or a 6-figure bank account to pay for the spot).

    1 in 6 Americans do not have enough food to eat to meet minimum nutrition standards.

    Unemployment in Florida is over 11%.

    Sorry you don’t want to think about things while you are driving to Publix or while stopped at a red light.

    Maybe you should move to that Disney town – Celebration, or that Christo-fascist Ave Maria out in the Everglades. I’m sure you won’t be burdened with seeing the “poor, tired, huddled masses” that society has left behind if you go there.

    Merry Christmas Buddy.

  9. mustbecrazy says:

    Well I must say I agree with Chaz on this. I am often upset when I see the panhandlers, but not because they are panhandling, but because I usually do not have any cash to give them. There is often more month than money for me. A couple of years ago when, layoffs were rampant and food and gas prices were continually going up, I saw a young woman with 2 small children outside the publix asking for food.
    I cried all the way to my car because all I had to offer her was a package of hotdogs. I wish I could have done more. I would hope that someone would do the same for me should I ever find myself standing in her shoes.

  10. disenchanted says:

    i agree there. hehehe have a great holiday o one and all, thanks buddy for this blog and may the ever merry sam fields have a blessed christmas, he needs it……..

  11. Rastas says:

    Buddy, out of curiosity, who do you think is going to ruin the quality of life of more Floridians during the next four years: one of these Fort Lauderdale bums, or Gov.-elect Rick Scott?
    And if you agree with me that it’s Scott, how can we get Judge Hurley to send him away?

  12. Chaz Stevens, Author says:

    Hey Buddy;

    With the recent changes in attitude here at BrowardBeat, might I suggest you reach out to Cal Thomas and see if he’ll be a guest speaker.

    Assuming, of course, that Fred Barnes is too busy.

  13. citizen ron says:

    Homeless and poor is one thing. Chronically walking through traffic banging on windows while cars swerve to avoid the panhandler is a safety issue.
    This guy was warned not to go into traffic over and over again.
    Perhaps he will listen now.

  14. Angelo Castillo says:

    Homelessness is a serious personal crisis that most commonly stems from untreated health or mental health, behavioral or addiction concern, often presented in combination, and less commonly results from job loss or financial difficulty. The word indigent comes from without dignity. That’s what happens. The dignity of living to minimal human standards is beyond the reach of the homeless. Sometimes I think people cringe when they see the homeless because it’s too painful for them to imagine themselves in a similar place. Homelessness is a very serious issue and it requires strong resolve to combat it.

    I’ve had over 20 years of experience combatting homelessness in NY and Florida, and also for the federal government. It’s very difficult but important work. Successes are few and far between. Each comes as a result of great effort. The homeless will tell you that falling into homelessness seems effortless as compared to crawling out of it. That’s true. It takes much more work to rejoin society, to restore dignity than to live without it.

    I recall back in 1998 as the newly hired human services director in Broward I orchestrated the orderly closure of the homeless tent in Fort Lauderdale. I couldn’t even imagine allowing human beings to live in tents on the streets. All 400 former tent residents were sent to where help would meet them — not just food and a cot — but help that offered hope of a new start for these highly troubled people.

    The homeless continuum of care plan that to this day drives much of how Broward responds to homelessness was crafted during my time with the county. Much of the funding strategy was also put together at that time as well and survives. We are much better at dealing with homelessness now than we were ten or twelve years ago.

    Most of us can count on a social safety net of friends and family who we can turn to if we ever got to the point where we had nowhere to live. The homeless lack that support or fall through their safety net into a state of destitution. It is a horrible way to live that eventually causes risk to self or others.

    Because homelessness is a very serious and complex personal crisis professional intervention is required to resolve it. The thing for us to do about the homeless is get them to where professional assistance is offered.

    Beggary does not resolve homelessness it prolongs it. Sure, it feels good to give a homeless person a donation. But helping them should be about them. What is best for them. Not what makes us feel better.

    Feeding programs make us the non-homeless feel better. They momentarily helps the homeless but prolongs their suffering. If you want to help the homeless, help the organizations that provide housing and sustenance in combination with professional services to the homeless.

    Support efforts that steer the homeless toward help and away from street life.

    Is it evil to give pocket change to a street beggar? Of course not. Except please know that money given that way very often ends up being spent in ways you might not want. Giving in that way may actually help a person to get further entrenched in their homelessness. There is a better and much more reliable way to help.

    Make a donation to the homeless service provider of your choice. Volunteer to help at a shelter, donate clothing or books, participate in your church homeless assistance program. Adopt a family going through difficulty and help keep them housed before they fall into homelessness. These are all much better than giving money to street people. So please, have a heart, give to the homeless. Do it the right way.

    All the best,


    FROM BUDDY: Angelo Castillo has worked for decades in social services, including on Broward’s homeless problem.

  15. Charley Varrick says:

    Thanks to Judge Hurley, Mr Kennedy will now get a decent Christmas meal and maybe even some christmas cheer at the Broward jail if he has friends who can bribe the detention officers.

  16. S.O.B. says:

    well well everybody is full of cheer… and I guess everybody has a point or two on their side…yes giving $$ just extends the problems..so why no buy some fast food gift certificates like McD or Burger King…then you can fell good that you helped the hungry and did not extend the drinking hour or druggies times… HoHoHO to all and a pleasant good nite…

  17. S only says:

    Whoa….Buddy, Buddy, Buddy. A bit too angry are you? I drive everyday in Broward and have never been aggressively confronted by panhandelers. True I don’t go to downtown Ft. Lauderdale–maybe it is more of a FTL city problem. I suggest people donate $ to social services agencies so they have the staff to help more people. I agree there probably is a drug/alcohol perception or maybe it is misconception. No data here. Anyway—try to have a “merry” holiday Buddy!

  18. St Thomas Graduate says:

    Buddy I disagree with your point of view and I think that you should leave the Cardinal Gibbons and Pine Crest Graduates alone during the holiday season. Do them a favor and hand them an application to St. Thomas so their children don’t become your burden as well.

  19. Common Sense Man says:

    Chaz “the potificator” Stevens fails to address the salient point regarding Mr. Kennedy. It was not that he was homeless. It was not that he was begging. It was the fact that he wanders through traffic and bangs on women’s doors begging for booze money. Apparently. Judge Hurley had warned him several times to stop doing it.
    Kennedy may have a right to be homeless and carry a sign, but banging on my car window is where I draw the line.

  20. Bada Bing! says:

    St. Thomas Graduate # 18(above):
    You should be familiar with the homeless, since you have so many living just on the edge of your campus…

  21. God Bless Us, Every One..... says:

    “At this festive season of the year, Mr. Nevins”, said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

    “Are there no prisons?”, asked Nevins.

    “Plenty of prisons”, said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

    “And the Union workhouses?”, demanded Nevins. “Are they still in operation?”

    “They are. Still”, returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

    “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?”, said Nevins.

    “Both very busy, sir.”

    “Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course”, said Nevins. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

    “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude”, returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when want is keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

    “Nothing!”, Nevins replied.

    “You wish to be anonymous?”

    “I wish to be left alone”, said Nevins. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned—they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”

    “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

    “If they would rather die”, said Nevins, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides—excuse me—I don’t know that.”

    “But you might know it”, observed the gentleman.

    “It’s not my business”, Nevins returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, to be able to drive unaccosted to Publix, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!”

    Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point, the gentlemen withdrew. Nevins resumed his labours with an improved opinion of himself, and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him.”

  22. Chaz Stevens, Author says:


    I thought you were kinda a dick during your election bid.

    My apologies and a nice round of applause to you for your efforts.

  23. Patti Lynn says:

    Angelo Castillo said it the best. Every one of those people on the street corners are in a daily struggle to survive. I donate to Sean Cononine’s,(sp??), workers on street corners. Other than that, Family Central and The Cooperative Feeding Program, (they have a new name). There but for the grace of God go many of us. Thank you Angelo.

  24. Chaz lives in a double wide says:

    Is it possible that you could express yourself without using profanities and vulgarities?
    You want so bad for people to take you seriously, but your writing and the way you express yourself is usually crude and crass.
    When you behave as a amateur, people will think of you as one.
    Until you raise your game, you will stay a minor leaguer.

  25. Chaz Stevens, Author says:

    How fucking Charles Bukowski of you.

  26. Angelo Castillo says:


    To be honest, there were a number of times a few months ago when I sort of felt that way myself.

    What you gotta’ know about that situation is the thing was basically thrust on me by circumstance without much planning. It wasn’t supposed to happen. All of that hype about me waiting in the wings, eager to pounce on this thing, etc. I never had any such intention and said so about a hundred times. Nobody wanted to believe it.

    Then, out of nowhere, boom. There it is. Staring me in the eye.

    It wasn’t supposed to happen at that time. I had ignored what people were saying about the situation. I had other things going on, other commitments. My life was in no way organized for this run. Still, residents close to me even and neighbors asked me to try. The business community asked me to try, community leaders asked me to try, my family supported me. Hell, I knew I could do the job. I had to make the call and decide.

    So I chose to make the effort but it never quite felt comfortable. I assumed that would go away, it didn’t. And the crazy part is I just can’t explain why. All I know is it just never felt right.

    The entire thing became like an out of body experience. It was game day and I couldn’t get myself up for the occasion. That’s just not me. A million times before, I never failed to get a thing done that needed doing. People have depended on me for years that way. This time, this one wasn’t like the others before. Again, I can’t say why it just didn’t feel right and I couldn’t shake it. Hey, whatever.

    Anyhow, so the point I’m trying to make here is this. If at times I came across as not being myself, try to understand. At that moment I sort of wasn’t and that’s very unusual for me. It was a very weird experience but stuff like that happens and the thing to do is be honest about it and move on.

    There will be other days, I learned a heck of a lot from it, I have no regrets and I make no excuses. My sights are set on tomorrow. I’m not one to dwell much on yesterdays.

    Every single day on this beautiful earth is a new start in life. I’m moving forward and I feel good about it. I am where I’m supposed to be right now.



  27. Floridan says:

    Buddy, don’t be surprised if you are visted by three ghosts tonight.

  28. Help in the Way your Heart Tells you To says:

    Cooperative Feeding/Life Net 4 Families has done an amazing job of balancing the endless need for support and advocacy with compassion and dignity.

    LifeNet 4 Families: http://www.feedingbroward.org/about_mission.asp

    This year, more than ever, there are those in need of what our hearts can give. In need of solutions. In need of dignity. In need of real programs and supportive after-care. Not broad generalizations and firehoses to wash them away from our streets.

    Buddy, you cast too wide a net linking Mr. Kennedy’s unique presentation to all those who passively hold signs on the street. Unsightly, the reminder that there are those with mental health issues who huddle in areas unseen to sleep in conditions unthinkable. How do we explain that to our children? It would be easier to avoid their eyes and vision.

    Your words unfairly burden further all those who present differently. The faceless. Those you never see. Those who are lost in the sea of mental health issues and never beg. Mr. Castillo would have been a better guest writer for those issues you find so disturbing.

    Instead, you gave updraft to that most hateful aspect of society that believes there should be no solutions, but rather disposal in jails. You see, there are those who simply hate the idea that someone would stand in the “luxury” of a street corner rather than toiling each day in an office.

    Ultimately, these broad criticisms without community and governmental financial support/solutions are simply efforts to brush away that which disturbs us (maybe about ourselves) rather than meaningful thought about real solutions.

    That, but for the grace of (insert your belief or “the cosmos”), go I ….

  29. Working for MY Hooch says:

    I work hard for MY hooch. 5 days a week. I hate my job. I hate getting up. I hate driving to work. I hate my boss. I hate bills. I hate my co-workers. I hate my fenced in yard protecting my from the eyes of everyone.

    If I have to work hard for my hooch, why is it fair that they get to sleep in, go where they want, ignore clocks, use cardboard to push back rains, spend the day seeking shade in summer, feeling the massage of bugs crawling during the moments of sleep, using newspapers for warmth, shower occassionally, wonder when they will get robbed by another, get razzed by cops, stand in line for food sometimes at shelters with other smelly people? How is that fair?

    I would like to have that job so I didnt have to work for my hooch, even tho my hooch has nice commercials and is much better. I still resent them since I work for my hooch!

  30. Death Frog 3 says:

    Having worked with the homeless first hand, arresting them for shoplifting, ordering them out of the streets, and rounding them up prior to hurricanes in my professional life, and serving meals for the homeless at my church. There is a difference between a person who becomes homeless due to a lack of money and those who are homeless due to substance abuse/mental health issues.

    There is a documentary on the homeless in Santa Monica that illustrates the issue well.

    I think everyone has some compassion for those who have fallen on hard times but I agree with Buddy, no need to support a drunken hobo.

    PS ask a cop about the “Hobo Express”

  31. Working for MY Hooch says:

    Exactly. That’s why I always administer breath-alizer before giving them any of my hooch money. It is one thing for me to spend money (which I should be saving for my retirement or to better myself) on cigarettes and hooch, but how dare they partake in such habits that are so bad for their lives. Every one of them should be required to produce a full audited financial statement next to their sign or cup showing exactlyu what they do with every penney they get and take a breath-alizer before permitted to make such choices for themselves. I mean, who wouldn’t agree to such a paternal invasion of privacy simply because we think they are scamming us to live in the lap of luxury on the streets. Same for those who get fat tax breaks and get farm subsidies and banks who get handouts. Heck, everyone in the U.S. should do. Let’s finally have a full accounting of what everybody is wasting their money on.

  32. Set the Record Straight says:


    Allow me to add to this. I work directly for the agency that has arrested him so many times. I have arrested him. I have interacted with him more times than I wish. He has been arrested 66 times in the past 8 years, not 8 times as Judge Hurley said. Most of his arrests occured in Dania. He is a nasty, violent drunk. Most times that he is arrested he fights with the cops or resists arrest. EVERY dollar that he collects goes straight to the local convenience store for high powered beer and booze. His sign always claims he is a vet. He is not. Citizens have complained over and over about his aggresiveness, including reaching into cars. If anyone is looking for a poster child for homelessnes or a martyr, this guy is the wrong choice. He has been offered every treatment program and homeless shelter. He refuses both. He won’t go to the shelter because alcohol and drunkeness are prohibited. Over the summer he was struck by a car and nearly killed at Sheridan and US1. Thirteen days later he was out there begging and drinking. You can only help people that want to be helped.

    Thanks for the comment.
    I want to also thank you for your service to the community and protecting us from the Kenney’s of the world. Happy holidays!!!
    You said it all in your last line: “You can only help people that want to be helped.”

  33. Broward Attorney says:

    Instead of pontificating, shouldn’t Judge Hurley presume the homeless person innocent, as has been required by our great Constitution for over 200 years.

  34. Set the Record Straight says:

    Thanks Buddy, it is a pleasure to serve our community, and happy holidays to you as well. One more comment. Who do you think paid for his ambulance ride and 9 day stay in intensive care at Memorial Regional? Taxpayers. How much manpower and how many tax dollars wasted on 66 arrests, how many deputies off the street to deal with this nuisance? I am with you. If not dealt with, we will be living in India.

  35. Dumb is just dumb says:

    Dear Broward Attorney:
    Hurley should ignore that the same drunk has plead guilty for the same thing ten times before in which he probably admitted to doing it each time. I can see that you are a person of great intellect. Impressive.

  36. Frank White says:

    Next time he claims he is a vet, throw his ass in jail under 817.312, F.S.

  37. julie lee says:

    I consider myself pretty liberal, however I dont agree with these panhandlers being in the street begging when Im on my way to work.
    first of all they look like 27 yr old men that could get jobs if they wanted, I am a women and dont want someone approaching my car at the intersection, besides Ive seen them walk right through traffic & almost get hit. I applaud Judge Hurley!