Panhandlers Busted in Sherman

2-22-06- For months Sherman drivers have been spotting the same three people standing in busy intersections asking for donations in the name of a church, at times even walking into traffic to take cash.

But the trio wound up in jail after pulling the routine Wednesday. The three were around the intersection of Texoma Parkway and Highway 82 armed with large buckets with a “Life Church” banner taped on the outside. Sherman Police say they have issued several warnings over the past few months to the same group of solicitors who were causing problems by standing in the roadway. A number of complaints were coming into the police department and the three have been spotted at other intersections around Sherman including Highways 82 and 75.

The group consists of Watasha Anders, Laverne Brocks, and Robert Matteson. The three claim to be homeless with New Life Ministries out of Dallas. They were telling drivers the money is going to help battered women.

First News checked with New Life Ministries and the team there at New Life is still in the process of checking to see if the three are really with them. They say people have been known to quit their ministry, but still use the name to illegally make money. The three are being charged with violating a traffic code.

Wednesday on First News at 10, we’ll look at what rules apply for curbside donations, if any. Make sure to stay with First News for the latest.