McAlester limits rudeness by panhandlers; asking person in car for work, money, ride prohibited

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- Panhandlers in McAlester are going to have to take a more refined approach.

The McAlester City Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that bans "aggressive" begging. The measure also applies to other forms of street-corner solicitation.

The ordinance passed unanimously, as did a second proposal that prohibits pedestrians from asking for work, a ride or money from anyone in an automobile.

Council member Buddy Garvin says residents have expressed concerns for their safety due to the significant number of aggressive panhandlers in McAlester.

City Attorney Joe Ervin told the McAlester News-Capital the new rules don't prohibit people from asking for assistance. But the ordinances have the effect of making it illegal for panhandlers to not take no for an answer.

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