Bicycle patrol officers with the St Augustine Police Department passed through the Plaza Market this evening about 5:00 p.m. to clear a large group of plaza bums; some of whom were eating from backpacks, others drinking from unlabeled bottles and cups, another was sleeping against a pillar, and all were surrounded with their own trash bag full of clutter.
The occupation of the Plaza and its Market throughout the day by panhandlers, vagrants, and other undesirables, has been a recurring and growing nuisance for residents, tourists, and employees who work in the businesses remaining downtown.
Tonight, officers identified one Vermont Heights man among the assemblage of debris who committed a civil infraction by violating a municipal ordinance, and two drug-related criminal misdemeanors.
Arrested was 46-year-old Joseph Eugene McDade who resides at 4216 New Hampshire Road in Elkton. He was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug equipment, and violation of a municipal ordinance.
McDade was taken into custody and transported to the St Johns County Detention Facility without incident. He remains in custody tonight in lieu of $1,200.00 bond.