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Panhandler Gets Arrest Tossed

Posted May 31, 2007 10:51 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A city court judge in New Rochelle, N.Y., has found the arrest of a panhandler violated his free speech rights.

Eric Hoffstead had asked his lawyer to challenge his arrest after reading about a 1992 federal judge’s ruling that struck down a ban on panhandling.

The court also tossed a drug possession charge against Hoffstead, since it resulted from a search after the illegal arrest, according to the New York Times. Hoffstead still faces an unrelated trespassing charge.

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