Market Square business owners approve of panhandling ban
SAN ANTONIO - Market Square is one of San Antonio's largest tourist attractions.
"This is our San Antonio bourbon street," Caricature artist Raul Guantello said.
But for years, business owners like Raul Guantello said the panhandling problem has gotten worse.
Driving away potential customers to other areas of the city.
"Market Square is a very unique, and it's kind of killing it that way," Guantello said.
Past San Antonio initiatives engaged with the homeless population by introducing them to various services.
But today they launched a new initiative to crackdown on panhandlers in Market Square.
Some people have taken notice.
"I don't see it as much as I used to," Market Square goer Rick Vasquez said.
Vasquez and others now enjoy the sites and sounds of Market Square with SAPD's new initiative.
It allows locals and tourists to shop without the disruption of aggressive panhandlers.
"You should be comfortable walking around and seeing the shops," Vasquez said.
While shooting this story, across the street.
Our Fox San Antonio crew noticed a police officer carrying a baton, walk up to a man sleeping on a bench.
After what looked like a short conversation with the man, it appears officers placed him under arrest.
Somehow, the man wound up on the ground.
"They crack down on people who ain't got no where to go," A witness who didn't want to be identified said.
This man believes officers may have been too aggressive with the man sleeping on the bench and others living on the street.
"I think it's way too much," The man said. " Why didn't you just wake the man up and ask him to leave? Why you got to throw him on the ground and arrest him?"