Several North Beacon Hill neighbors on the beaconhill mailing list have recently had encounters with a panhandler who sounds familiar. It may be the same fellow who has been seen in the CD and previously on Beacon Hill, or someone else who is running a similar scam.
The basic interaction typically goes like this:
- He knocks on your door and asks for a small amount of money to pay a locksmith because he is locked out of his house or his car.
- He says he’s gay, and he’s new in the neighborhood and just moved nearby with his boyfriend. (Sometimes he gives a location that is known to be false.)
- He usually claims to be a janitor at a nearby school or university. (It has been verified that he does not work at Beacon Hill International School as he claimed to at least one individual.)
He is African-American, about 5′ 9″, 145 pounds, and probably somewhere around 45 years old.
If it is the same person who has done this previously in the CD, he may be the well-known “Patrick” who has been telling this particular story, with variations, for at least 14 years. However, there may be more than one person who does this; the panhandler in other neighborhoods has been described with heights ranging from 5’7″ to 6’0″, and one person in the Roosevelt neighborhood last month (described as “younger-looking,” unlike Patrick) used a different name, “Clark Lewis.”
There are many reports of this activity from other neighborhoods.
- Roosevelt, April 2011: note the references in the comments to “Patrick the UW janitor.”
- Central District, February 2011.
- Maple Leaf, January 2011: he calls himself “Patrick Lewis.”
- Green Lake, December 2010: “a maintenance person at Roosevelt High School,” described as “about 5’8″ and 150 pounds. He is a black man in his 40s, slightly balding.”
- Central District, February 2010: commenter Kristo describes Patrick as follows:
“I’d say he’s in his late 40s, about 5’7″ and 150 lbs, African American, salt and pepper beard/hair, baseball cap, dark jeans and a black and tan jacket. Talks a mile a minute, opening with, ‘Hey, I’m Patrick—I’m gay!’ and then followed with a very well-rehearsed, almost commercial-like, ‘Have you ever locked yourself out of your house?’”
- Central District, January 2010.
- Central District, December 2009: This time, a “janitor at Garfield.”
There is no concrete evidence that he is casing houses or is a danger to anything other than your wallet. However, please be aware that if someone approaches you with this story, it is probably a scam.