Police arrest known panhandler for Glasgow fiasco

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) -- "Why be ashamed for getting something to eat," those were the words uttered by the seemingly sweet Gary Thompson, back in February of this year.

Thompson could be seen rolling around Lexington streets asking for a handout, but as police reported it was all a scam.

"Yeah, it's fun to me, making money," Thompson said in a grin, while speaking in a fake voice.

Moments later our cameras caught the real Gary Thompson.

"I gotta go, y'all, I've got to make some money," and even he couldn't resist bragging about how good he is at getting money from others. "I'm really good at it, really good. I clear about $100,000 a year doing this."

It looks as if some things never change, as cameras caught up with Thompson again, this time in Glasgow, Kentucky.

"I'm the best in the world, I'm among the best panhandlers in the world."

While Thompson has taken his game out to western Kentucky, he says he's not panhandling anymore. Stores in the area say he is, and it's to the point they claim they're losing customers.

"I just hate for any good customer to end up giving money to somebody that doesn't need it," said Jonathan Adwell, who works as an Assistant Manager for a grocery store.

Thompson was found staying at the Happy Valley Inn in Glasgow, where it seemed that the trouble continued.

"He flipped his chair over, out here, again," stated Paula Scott, manager of the inn.

Witnesses, like Rory Florea, said Thompson was in his wheelchair and tried to get a round a vending machine when he tipped over.

"He sat there and started cussing and spitting out a bunch of obscenities and stuff, and talking about suing," recalled Florea.

"He starts jumping up and down and shaking his fist at me and everything," added Scott.

"He picked himself right up out of his chair and stood up, and wound up smashing the light right there with the back of his fist," Florea said.

Police arrested Thompson for criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. Some in the Glasgow area say the jail time brought a break from Thompson's antics, and several area businesses even reported that they've filed paperwork to have Thompson banned from their business.

"I'm not sure about the light fixture, whether it's a major issue right now, the main issue is getting him out of our motel," said Scott.

Thompson is expected to appear in court on Monday.


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