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(A) For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ACCOSTING. Approaching or speaking to an individual or individuals in a manner as would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm or the commission of a criminal act upon his or her person, or upon property in his or her immediate possession.
BEG, SOLICIT or PANHANDLE. The communication, by use of gestures, spoken words, written or printed word or other acts as are conducted in the furtherance of the purpose of immediately collecting contributions of money, food or goods, for the use of one’s self or others. As used in this section, the word SOLICIT and its forms includes BEGGING and PANHANDLING.
COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENT. Any store, grocery store, restaurant or carry out, office building, gas station.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION. Any bank, industrial bank, credit union or savings and loan.
FORCING ONESELF UPON THE COMPANY OF ANOTHER:
(a) Continuing to solicit in close proximity to the individual addressed after the person to whom the solicitation is directed has made a negative response, either verbally, by physical sign, by attempting to leave the presence of the person soliciting or by other negative indication;
(b) Blocking the passage of the individual solicited; or
(c) Otherwise engaging in conduct that could reasonably be construed as intending to compel or force a person to accede to a solicitation.
(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to beg, solicit or panhandle, as defined in division (A) above:
(1) By accosting another, or by forcing oneself upon the company of another;
(2) Within 20 feet of the entrance to any financial institution, any automatic teller machine or any commercial establishment;
(3) At any outdoor dining or merchandise area; provided that areas are in active use at the time;
(4) At any transit stop or taxi stand, or in a public transit vehicle;
(5) While the person being solicited is standing in line waiting to be admitted to a commercial establishment;
(6) By touching the person being solicited without that person’s consent;
(7) By blocking the path of a person being solicited or blocking the entrance or exit to any building or vehicle;
(8) By or with the use of profane or abusive language, during the solicitation or following an unsuccessful solicitation;
(9) By or with the use of any gesture or act intended to cause a reasonable person to be fearful of the solicitor or feel compelled to accede to the solicitation;
(10) After dark, which shall mean 1/2 hour after sunset until 1/2 hour before sunrise;
(11) While under the influence of alcohol, as defined in the North Carolina Controlled Substance Act, being G.S. §§ 90-86 et seq.;
(12) While on private property after being asked to either leave or refrain from begging, soliciting or panhandling; or
(13) By begging, soliciting or panhandling as part of a group of 2 or more people, using words or gestures intended to intimidate a person into giving money.
(Ord. passed 5-18-2004) Penalty, see § 130.99
Authority to prohibit or regulate begging, see G.S. §§ 160A-179, 14-4
Enforcement of ordinances, see G.S. § 160A-175