St. Johns neighbors spreading word about aggressive panhandler - KPTV - FOX 12

St. Johns neighbors spreading word about aggressive panhandler

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

People living in Portland's St. Johns neighborhood are using social media to warn other homeowners about what they describe as an aggressive and intrusive panhandler.

"I really felt like she wasn't telling me the truth," said Gina DiCicco, after the woman showed up on her front doorstep late Tuesday night.

The woman, who DiCicco had never met before, claimed to be a neighbor in need of help.

"She just came to our door and said, ‘I live a few doors down, and I have twin babies, and if you have some formula and you could help me out, that'd be great.' And I was like, 'This is so strange!'"

DiCicco said she didn't believe the woman, who left after DiCicco told her she didn't have any money for baby formula.

When DiCicco told her partner about the bizarre encounter, she heard about other similar stories posted on a Facebook page for the St. Johns neighborhood.

"It started with a frantic door knock around 10:30 p.m. at night," said Michelle Yacullo, who told FOX 12 the woman pushed her way into her home three weeks ago.

"I opened the door this much and peered around," said Yacullo. "And she actually put both hands on the door and she just pushed her way in like this and scooted in sideways in. I had to close the door because of the cats. And she just walked right over to the couch and sat down."

Yacullo said the woman told her the same story about needing to buy baby formula. Yacullo felt bad for her and decided to help her out instead of kicking her out.

"I went to my wallet and I opened it up and I gave her $3, which is all I had," said Yacullo. "And her response was, ‘This is not enough. You'll have to come up with more.'"

Yacullo said she finally came up with the money after digging around for loose change.

Looking back, she admits she should have asked the woman to leave and called the police.

"She'd be like, 'Other people in this neighborhood would have kicked me out, but other people are racist and you're a nice lady,'" said Yacullo, who wants to warn others in the neighborhood not to open their doors late at night.

Neighbors said the woman appeared to be high and was acting strange.

To read Facebook posts about what others have experienced, click here.

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