La Crosse man cited for posting anti-homeless signs around town
Violation carries $124 fine
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — La Crosse police issued a citation to Petar Harm of La Crosse for posting about 30 signs on utility poles, postal boxes and businesses that rudely told homeless people that they aren’t welcome here.
Among other things, the all-caps signs said, in part:
“No vagrancy Allowed!!!!!!
“(No homeless people allowed)
“We will call the cops for all and any suspicious looking people!”
“La Crosse Watch Force” was at the bottom of the signs.
A police officer recognized Harm as the suspect after spotting him clearly posting a sign on a city security camera on June 30, according to the criminal complaint.
When the officer confronted Harm, he listed several reasons for posting the signs, including:
• He is tired of watching La Crosse “sink.”
• His sister is a college student in the city, and an allegedly homeless man allegedly made a crude sexual comment to her.
• His roommates are friends of 19-year-old Anthony Fimple, who was slain in a shooting at a La Crosse bar on June 28, and he thought he had to do something. Timothy Armstrong of Spring Grove, Minn., has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Fimple’s death.
After being apprehended on July 1, Harm “apologized multiple times for posting the signs and stated he was trying to help the community,” according to the complaint the police officer signed.
The officer issued Harm a citation for placing a sign on a utility pole, which carries a $124 fine, on July 1. The relevant city ordinance stipulates that he could receive a citation for every sign he posted
Harm promised to take down all of the signs. The officer told him that if any signs remained at noon July 2, he would be issued a citation for each one. No other citations have been added.
The fine is to be paid by 8:30 a.m. Aug. 5, according to the complaint.
Harm told the officer he is trying to start a business, to be called 900 Credit Consulting in the 400 block of Main Street.
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