The elderly Florida woman whose arrest was caught on video that has shocked some viewers was let out of jail in time to spend her 94th birthday as a free woman.
Juanita Fitzgerald was arrested Tuesday on charges of trespassing after the management at her independent living facility claimed said that she refused to pay rent for the past three months.
Police body cam video released Friday shows what police say was the nonagenarian as she resisted arrest.
In the video, Fitzgerald cried and screamed and sat down on the ground.
According to WKMG, staff said Fitzgerald told them she held back the rent because she thought she was going to die soon.
“Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere,” Fitzgerald told cops, according to the Eustis PD affidavit.
The affidavit says when officers tried to escort Fitzgerald out of the building, she intentionally slid from her chair and onto the floor and resisted when officers tried to pick her up.
Fitzgerald told WKMG she tried to pay rent in October and was refused and that the assisted living home offered her assistance and tried to find her another home, but she refused.
Fitzgerald was released on her own recognizance Thursday, a Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.
Instead of spending the next day, her birthday, in a cell, Fitzgerald woke up Friday in a motel room thanks to Nicole Lett, who’s worked with some of Fitgerald’s neighbors in the past.
“I just couldn’t let her stay in jail any longer,” Lett said. “She’s 94 and she’s still fiesty as ever… She doesn’t want peoples’ help she wants to be on her own. But unfortunately she needs the help right now because she doesn’t have anything anymore.”
Fitzgerald must appear for a Dec. 27 court appearance, officials said.