MACON, Ga. — Some store owners and people in downtown Macon say they’re worried a homeless man is hurting business.
Bert Maxwell owns a furniture store in downtown Macon. He posted on Facebook saying a cart was chained to a bike rack in front of his store for four days straight.
He says the cart’s owner, David Gooden, threatened him and slashed his tires in the past.
“He’s deterred business, you know, and made people stay away and that type of thing,” said Maxwell.
Josephine Bennett commented on the Facebook post saying her husband was assaulted by Gooden and wound up with seven staples in his head when her husband asked him to not camp on private property.
“It seems like some days, they’re good with him and he’s fine with people, and other days, he snaps and goes off on everybody that goes past him,” said Maxwell.
Redemption Tattoo artist Austyn Braden says he’s noticed Gooden’s cart around town, but says it doesn’t bother him.
“He cleans up, he sweeps the sidewalks. He picks up cigarette butts and asks for nothing in return. He’s never asked me for anything. As far as I know, he’s the best bum around Macon, and we have a lot of bums,” said Braden.
Maxwell and other people say Gooden’s unpredictable behavior scares customers. Lieutenant Nicole Ard with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office says deputies asked Gooden to move his cart Thursday afternoon. She says if a store owner has a concern about anyone bothering a business, he or she should report it to law enforcement right away.
“We have to do a ban order. We have to let these people know they cannot come back in this business. They sign it, you sign it, and then it’s filed,” Ard.
Maxwells post has more than 160 comments from people around town. He says for now, he does his best to just avoid Gooden.
Lietuentant Ard with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office says if someone violates the ban order, a deputy will arrest them.
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