By Max R. Weller
Things started going downhill, again, when Richard Grant a.k.a. Denver King was released from Boulder County Jail recently, after being charged with Felony Menacing. The way I heard the story, he pulled a knife on someone working outside at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless in the course of a verbal altercation; he was arrested in early April. Apparently, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to time served. Mr. Grant has been banned permanently from BSH property, and he has no friends in the neighborhood, not even other homeless people.
(Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)
I got into a nonviolent confrontation with him yesterday afternoon. It unfolded this way: I was sitting underneath the shade trees along the sidewalk in front of The Amazing Garage Sale and reading a crime novel translated from the Swedish, The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell. I’d moved away from my usual spot on the wall farther north, because Denver King has trashed that area with cigarette butts and empty juice bottles; in addition, a homeless woman has been passing out there and others are simply too damn noisy for me to be able to concentrate. Denver King and Mississippi were sitting there, presumably waiting to step out and fail to make any money panhandling. (After being skunked several times, you’d think they’d get the message that passersby don’t like them, but this isn’t the case; last Saturday, King was out there for seven straight hours, and Sunday morning he was trying to bum cigarettes from other homeless folks). A little after 1PM yesterday, Shouting Joe was finished “flying a sign” on the corner, and he yelled at me to come and take his place. At first, I ignored him, being absorbed in my book. Denver King went out instead, but Shouting Joe yelled for me again. I walked out there, thinking that I might put in an hour or so and pick up a few bucks. The [Hillbilly] King went apeshit, and started arguing with Joe, telling him I was a liar and a no-good POS because I blogged about his being a fake veteran.
See SCAM ALERT . . . from the July, 2013 archives.
King became so upset that he threw his empty Amante paper coffee cup and hit me in the back; I laughed at his childishness, and pointed out that he never makes any money at this corner, anyway. Joe left, and King went back to sit with Mississippi on the wall in front of the nearby Mexican restaurant. Five minutes later, he came back out to the corner, and started to “front” me, meaning that he stood on the median nearer to the flow of traffic. I walked away at that point, but as I was leaving King said to me, “Don’t go back to your campsite tonight — I’m going to call the cops and report where it is.”
Actually, the owners of the private property where I’ve camped alone since last August are fully aware of my presence, and have said that they won’t complain about it because I never cause any problems. King, on the other hand, is definitely unwelcome wherever he sleeps.
Nobody bothered me overnight. I’ll admit, however, that this Froot Loop is crazy enough to be a potential danger for anybody he might sneak up on. I’m a light sleeper, fortunately.
Will there come a day when the bums are gone for good from the neighborhood where I’ve lived for over six years now? I have my doubts, but I’ve just about reached the end of my patience with the knuckleheads.