Elderly Woman Arrested in Disturbing Viral Video Is Freed in Time for Her 94th Birthday
Juanita Fitzgerald is accused of refusing to pay her rent.
The elderly Florida woman whose arrest was caught on video that has shocked some viewers was let out of jail in time to spend her 94th birthday as a free woman.
Juanita Fitzgerald was arrested Tuesday on charges of trespassing after the management at her independent living facility claimed said that she had refused to pay rent for the past three months.
Police bodycam footage released Friday shows what police say was the nonagenarian as she resisted arrest.
In the video, Fitzgerald is seen crying and screaming and sat down on the ground.
Staff said Fitzgerald told them she held back the rent because she thought she was going to die soon, according to WKMG.
“Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere,” Fitzgerald told cops, according an affidavit from the Eustis Police Department affidavit.
The affidavit says that when officers tried to escort Fitzgerald out of the building, she intentionally slid from her chair and onto the floor and resisted when officers tried to pick her up.
Fitzgerald told WKMG she tried to pay rent in October and was refused and that the assisted living home offered her assistance and tried to find her another home, but she refused.
Fitzgerald was released on her own recognizance Thursday, a Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.
Instead of spending the next day, her birthday, in a cell, Fitzgerald woke up Friday in a motel room thanks to Nicole Lett, who's worked with some of Fitzgerald's neighbors in the past.
"I just couldn't let her stay in jail any longer," Lett said. "She's 94 and she's still feisty as ever... She doesn't want peoples' help she wants to be on her own. But unfortunately she needs the help right now because she doesn't have anything anymore."
Fitzgerald must appear for a Dec. 27 court appearance, officials said.
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