Food cart panhandling is getting a bit aggressive, some say

Food cart panhandling is getting a bit aggressive, some say »Play Video
KATU photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Those who frequent the food carts in downtown Portland might notice a bit more police presence in the coming weeks.

That's because of complaints that some of the panhandlers are getting pretty aggressive.

The ones who are causing the problems aren't the regulars that the food cart vendors are used to seeing.  They're a different crowd, probably travelers looking for places to pick up a little extra change. And of course food carts with long lines of customers provide them with the perfect opportunity to hit folks up.

But some vendors say they have noticed some of the new faces on the street shouting at people or stepping in front of them to block their way. And of course that's not only uncomfortable for the customers, but it can be bad for food cart owners trying to run their business.

Police are planning to increase their presence around the food carts, at least for a few weeks. So far, no one has been arrested but they will be keeping an eye on things.

It is important to note that panhandling in itself is not a crime but when a person starts touching someone, getting in their space or otherwise harassing them, that's when it gets illegal.