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News : Man Who Caused Disturbance Due To Body Odor Assisted By Hannibal Police
Posted by Randy on 2014/4/4 4:30:00 (423 reads) News by the same author

(Hannibal.Net)- Hannibal police report attempting to assist an individual, whose odor was so pungent that it prompted peace disturbance calls to both City Hall and a nearby business on March 25.
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Hannibal police report attempting to assist an individual, whose odor was so pungent that it prompted peace disturbance calls to both City Hall and a nearby business on March 25.

According to Lt. John Zerbonia of HPD, police were called “several times” about the homeless man last week.

“The Hannibal Police Department attempted to provide a humane solution or at least a temporary remedy,” said Zerbonia in an e-mail to the Courier-Post.

According to Zerbonia, police worked in conjunction with a local community service group and a Christian organization to provide the man with clean clothes, hygiene products and a facility to shower.

“Due to him not being in custody, the Police Department also provided funds to pay for transportation to and from the facility by a local taxi service,” said Zerbonia. “This was all done in a manner that would best retain the man’s dignity and privacy.”

Zerbonia reports that in the past several years HPD officers have found themselves encountering a growing number of homeless individuals. He added that officers exercise diplomacy in those situations.

“It is the practice of the Police Department to assist in finding them shelter, mental health aid, medical aid or other needs as deemed appropriate,” he said. “Often it is the case that we find that the individual will refuse the aid provided or that appropriate aid is not available in our area. At times individuals will be banned from a facility or denied services because their behavior or actions are threatening or dangerous to the facility or others in need.”

The HPD lieutenant confirmed that a “noxious or offensive odor” is not just a violation of Hannibal municipal ordinances, it also violates Missouri State statutes.

According to state laws, peace disturbance is a class B misdemeanor upon the first conviction. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, peace disturbance is a class A misdemeanor. Upon a third or subsequent conviction, a person shall be sentenced to pay a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $5,000.

Zerbonia added that as far as odor related peace disturbance complaints, “such matters rarely, if ever, result in a citation or arrest.”

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