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“Aggressive Panhandler” Behind Bars After Weeks of Reports of Bizarre Behavior


 For weeks, the man was popping up all over the Ohio Valley.

In some cases, he demanded money, in other cases he demanded a ride.

But now this suspect is behind bars, thanks to Bellaire Police.

The reports all started in Moundsville, where the man was not just asking for money, but demanding it.

And people were so shocked and frightened, they were agreeing to his demands.

“He was aggressive,” recalled Detective Sgt. Don DeWitt of the Moundsville Police Department. “He was making up ploys like he had a flat tire and needed a ride. In one of the ploys, he was a pallbearer and he needed a ride to the funeral.”

And reports were coming from all over the Ohio Valley.

“Several places here in Moundsville, the Highlands, Bellaire and St. Clairsville,” DeWitt noted.

In Moundsville, his behavior was shocking, but it was a gray area according to the law.

“He got in a female’s car and basically told her to take him to a location,” said DeWitt. “She complied and took him to that location. He got out of the car and she left him there. There’s not a whole lot we can charge him with.”

But this weekend, he was in Bellaire, and police got at least three reports.

He was going up to people in drive-through lines, also outside a drugstore and a medical clinic,

And he tried to get in a woman’s car.

Bellaire Police arrested 29-year-old Aaron Michael Baker of St. Clairsville.

He is jailed on a charge of persistent disorderly conduct.

And people there say they’re relieved.

“Oh it’s a good thing,” said Shane Auber of Bellaire. “I mean, Bellaire’s a little more safe than it was when he was on the streets.”

“Well, I think they were right to put him in jail,” said Lawrence J. Green of Bellaire. “But I think they ought to send him away for a little while. Let him think about it.”

They said he targeted women or the elderly, and people were afraid to say no to his brazen demands.

His bond for the persistent disorderly conduct charge is $250.

However, jail officials say his probation officer has placed a hold on him.

That means he can’t post bond because of prior violations.

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