94-year-old woman arrested after refusing to leave independent living home

U.S. & World

EUSTIS, FL (WCMH) – A 94-year-old Florida woman spent several two days in jail after refusing to leave an independent living facility after she was evicted.

Juanita Fitzgerald, 94, has lived at the Franklin House in Eustis, Florida since April of 2011, WKMG reported.

A representative for the National Church Residences, the owner of the property, said Fitzgerald told staff she was holding back rent because she thought she was going to die soon.

After her portion of the rent went unpaid for three months, she was evicted.

According to police, Fitzgerald refused to get her belongings and leave. Instead, she said “Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere,” according to an affidavit.

The police report said she tried to resist being escorted from the building by sliding out of her chair and onto the floor.

In a jailhouse interview with WKMG, Fitzgerald says she tried to pay her rent in October, but was refused by Franklin House staff, but was refused. She said she also refused offers by Franklin House for help finding another home.

“I don’t want them to help me. I don’t need no help. I’ve got all the help I need,” Fitzgerald said pointing to the sky.

Fitzgerald was released from jail Thursday and is staying with a friend until her Dec. 27 court appearance.

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