'Cold criminal' arrested again
Bruce Hodgson charged with trespassing
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A homeless man who has shown a pattern of going to jail when it's cold outside was arrested again this week.
READ: "Cold Criminal" timeline
Pompano Beach police arrested Bruce Hodgson, 38, Tuesday. He was charged with failure to leave property upon order by owner.
"Bruce, trespassing again at Home Depot?" said Broward Circuit Court Judge John Hurley. "It seems apparent that you like being in jail more than you would like being in a homeless shelter. Now, I can't figure that out."
Hodgson was arrested last week for trespassing at the same Home Depot in Pompano Beach.
According to a police report, on Tuesday, Hodgson went to that same store and said he was going to beat everyone with a baseball bat.
"For the life of me, I don't know why you behave this way," said Hurley. "People are trying to help you and you keep doing this, and I know you wanted to come into jail because it was cold, but we got you in the homeless shelter. It's warm at the homeless shelter and you walked out of there. I don't get you."
Hurley set bond for Hodgson at $500.
The Broward Sheriff's Office said Hodgson has been arrested 17 times over the last three years. Police arrested him nine times between November and March. The average low temperature on the days of those nine arrests was 52 degrees.
Temperatures are expected to reach lows in the mid-50s late Wednesday and early Thursday.
Hurley said Hodgson has been arrested 29 times, including Tuesday's arrest, in the last six and a half years.
Hurley ordered Hodgson to spend 30 days in the Broward Outreach Center and abstain from alcohol upon his release last week.
However, Hodgson never went to the homeless shelter. He instead walked away after a BSO deputy dropped him off.
Two appeared cordial when Hodgson first appeared in bond court on March 5.
It costs $116 a day to house an inmate in the Broward County Jail.
Experts on homelessness meet over arrests, education
County experts on homelessness met Tuesday to discuss how about 150 opt for handcuffs whenever they want a meal, shower, or warm bed instead of the numerous free resources available to them.
The Broward Sheriff's Office said it's working to repurpose a vacant stockade into a resource center where deputies can bring homeless people instead of taking them to jail.
Weinstein said a special homeless people court may be needed to handle minor offenses.
"If we can direct them toward some places where they can get some assistance, it'll be much better than putting people in the county jail," Broward County Circuit Judge Peter Weinstein said.
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