Sir Winston Spencer Church said, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on."
Sadistic WADE ROSS leads nightly stalking and harassment of the homeless.
Here in St. Augustine, we don't like bullies like WADE ROSS.
We need an investigation by FDLE or FBI, a "hate groups" designation by Southern Poverty Law Center, and responsive communications to the Florida School Boards Association and Florida Education Association from the Chamber of Commerce Historic Downtown chapter, the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council and the Visitor and Convention Bureau.
Here's the e-mail I sent to Facebook found Mark Zuckerberg and his VP for policy:
1. Will you please have your staff investigate a Facebook group, "VAGRANT WATCH," which appears to embrace vigilantism and tortious interference with contractual relations on the issue of homelessness or panhandling here in St. Augustine, Florida?
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter has been written for the attention of the Florida Department of Education;
however, if you are not part of the FDOE, you are being sent this information because you
have been identified as someone who may be able to help. I will be sending it to anyone that
may be of assistance to our community.
I am a veteran educator with 23 years of experience. My first responsibility in my classroom,
before all else, is student safety. If you bring your students to St. Augustine for a field trip, I
would like to make you aware of the unsafe conditions that we are experiencing.
The St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group
I am a member and moderator of the St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group on Facebook. We are a crime watch group composed of residents of the city of St. Augustine and St. Johns
County, as well as those who love St. Augustine and want to stay informed regarding the
Vagrancy Crisis and related crimes we are experiencing.
We have made attempts to work with our City Officials, the City Manager, and Law
Enforcement with very limited success. We are at an impasse, and since the City of St.
Augustine will not take any further action on this very difficult issue . We will be reaching
outside the City for assistance with this public safety and health crisis. If you can be of any
assistance, it would be greatly appreciated.
The Criminal-Vagrancy Crisis
In 2016, the Middle Courts of Florida struck down ordinances that made panhandling illegal
as it is considered protected under the 1st Amendment Right of Free Speech. About this time,
our City, in fear of a lawsuit, stopped enforcing laws and ordinances that address the crimes
associated with chronic homelessness, which we call vagrancy. At that time, our Mayor, who
has just been re-elected, went on the News and made the announcement that panhandling
rules would not be enforced. Since then, we have had an influx of transients to our Historic
City. Along with this influx, we have had a sharp rise in public camping, drunkenness, public
urination and defecation, aggressive panhandling, and littering. We have had female minors
physically assaulted. We have had residents and guests physically threatened and assaulted.
The list goes on and on. The City eventually changed the panhandling ordinances; however,
regular enforcement and public education have fallen flat, and our Mayor does not seem to
think that we have a problem.
The Historic City’s Public Safety Crisis
I would like to take you on a photographic tour of what you may find If you come to St.
Augustine. What you will be looking at is a regular occurrence in the Historic District.
Whether you come with a spouse, a friend, or on a field trip with students, the first place you
may come to is the parking garage. We call that area the safe zone for vagrants. For months,
even with enforceable public camping ordinances, our City failed to take any action against
the vagrants living in this area. On a typical night, we would have 20 to 30 vagrants sleeping
in this area. One night, the count reached over 40. Without public restrooms, the campers
would use the nearby grassy areas and bushes. It was also reported that this was a location
for drug use, drug deals, prostitution, and as a chop-shop for stolen bicycles. This area
became so filthy and smelly that a fire truck was brought in to hose down the area. Shortly
after this point in time, after months of complaints to the COSA and one of our members
being interviewed by the local media, the City has cracked down on the night-time sleeping,
but the vagrants still gather there during the day.
The south side of the parking garage.
A firefighter cleaning the vagrant filth on the south side of the parking garage.
Across from the garage we have the City Visitor Information Center. The VIC and the Garage
share a central area. Even though the City has put up signs, they are not effective because
the police do not systematically patrol and cite offenders.
In between the parking garage and Visitor Information Center.
Please click on this link for more information on the vagrancy issue at the parking garage:
The signs do no good when there is not a regular police presence.
The Parking Garage.
At the Visitor Information Center.
After leaving the Parking garage, a visitor would typically head south on St. George Street, a
pedestrian walking area with small shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. The oldest
school house is located on this street, which is about 4 blocks long. The street has become a
haven for alcoholics and drug addicts to beg for money to feed their addictions. Begging is
their 1st amendment right, and they display signs that often reference drugs and alcohol.
They use dogs and cats as props for sympathy. Many times, the dogs are pit bulls and it is not
known if they are trained, socialized to be around other animals or people, or have the
We have witnessed vagrants smoking marijuana, giving away joints of marijuana, exchanging
money, and throwing pills in the street before being arrested. Many of the Vagrants we have
monitored have been arrested for drug-related crimes.
We believe this is a drug deal that happened near St. George Street.
On St. George Street, you will typically find the conditions filthy. It was not like this 5 short
years ago. Our group members have documented Vagrants urinating on the walls, on
garbage cans, in bottles which are left behind, and at times, we will find vomit and human
feces. Typically, when the City does not enforce the public camping ordinance, we expect to
find or at least to smell human defecation and public urination.
Urine left in a bottle on St. George Street.
More human feces around the corner from St. George Street. Sadly, this is a regular
occurrence and we have more pictures documenting this.
The City could plan better for weeks with increased tourism.
St. George Street with an empty bottle of vodka.
At several of the intersections as you walk down St. George, you can find an assortment of
panhandlers. We find these people drunk or high and unruly later in the day. They often
harass visitors and have been reported trying to pressure minors to hand over their money.
These people do not want for food; they are daily fed at either the St. Francis House or by a
group called Dining with Dignity.
This guy is tweezing his beard and nose hair on St. George Street.
This is a violent habitual offender is once again stoned. Recently, while he was on probation,
he assaulted somebody and robbed them. The robbery with a weapon charge is being
dropped to disorderly conduct. We expect him to be release back out on our streets soon.
This guy is a regular who is drunk or high and passes out on St. George Street.
At the South end of St. George Street, we have our Historic Plaza de la Constitution with our
Public Market area and our Gazebo. This is an area where the Vagrants set up day camps and
sometimes, if our Watch group members are not prompting the police, they will spend the
night there. Since the vagrants are too lazy to walk over to the nearby public restroom, they
will urinate and defecate in the Plaza area. We have witnessed drunk Vagrants urinating in
the same grassy area where families sit down and play with their children. The Gazebo itself
is used as a urinal.
Many of our vagrants come directly from jail to our Plaza. Some vagrants with criminal
records come from other states. A few blocks away there is easy access to food from a local
charity, and access to tourist dollars through panhandling.
This photograph was taken inside the Gazebo after a group of vagrants spent most of the day
This gazebo in the Plaza is a regular bathroom for the vagrants and it reeks of urine.
Another drunk habitual offender.
This is a fight that happened in the Plaza last year. The vagrants are often arguing and yelling
at each other. The have foul mouths and do not filter anything. They often yell vulgarities out
This man fell asleep in the park with his hand down the front of his pants.
Please, whether you are on St. George Street or in the Plaza area, do not sit on the benches.
They are filthy. It has been reported that vagrants have urinated on themselves while sitting
on the benches and often the backs of their pants are soiled with excrement.
Finally, a few blocks to the east of St. George Street you can find the Castillo de San Marcos
and the Educational Spanish Quarter. In the past vagrants have been found camping on the
Fort property, and the northeast corner has reeked of human feces. At the entrance of the
Spanish Quarter, vagrants have been seen urinating.
Sleeping on the Historic Fort.
Urinating on the Spanish Quarter attraction.
We have made countless attempts to work with the City Officials, the City Manager, and law
enforcement. We have exhausted all our avenues of recourse and are asking for your
assistance. Our group has been lied to, ignored, and vilified. If you come to visit our Historic
City or bring students for educational field trips, we ask that before you come, you demand
that the City be made clean and safe through the systematic patrols and strict enforcement
of City ordinances and State laws. We are including contact information for St. Augustine
City Officials below for your convenience. Thank you for your assistance.
The contact information for the City officials:
John Regan email@example.com
Mayor Nancy Shaver NShaver@citystaug.com
Todd Neville TNeville@citystaug.com
Roxanne Horvath RHorvath@citystaug.com
Leanna Freeman LFreeman@citystaug.com
Nancy Sikes-Kline NSikesKline@citystaug.com
Additional Links Documenting the Vagrancy Crisis:
For more information about this group or to arrange a meeting, please contact the St.
Augustine Vagrant Watch Group Moderators:
Evelyn Hammock at 904.635.6959 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Troy and Patti Strawder at 904.679.4455 or Bluzboytroy@yahoo.com
Wade Ross at 321.698.2198 or email@example.com
Feel free to join our Facebook group, St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group, or google “St.
Augustine Vagrant” to see more information about our crisis.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
St. Augustine Vagrant Watch Group Moderator