Family, friends come forward after video of panhandler driving new truck goes viral

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Here is what happens when a Facebook video goes viral.

People in the video get recognized.

RELATED: Man confronts panhandler driving new truck, video goes viral

That is what happened when CBS North Carolina’s sister station KOIN 6 News aired a video of a man confronting a panhandler on NE Andresen Road and NE Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver. Jimmy Severs, the man who filmed and confronted the panhandler, didn’t like that the panhandler was getting into a newer Toyota pickup truck.

***WARNING: The Facebook video contains very explicit language***

Watch the Facebook video here

KOIN 6 News spoke with the man in the video Wednesday after he showed up to the same corner where he is known to panhandle. He left when KOIN 6 News approached him, saying he was going home, and he wasn’t going to ask for money anymore because he doesn’t need it. He wouldn’t answer questions about the truck he was driving.

A man confronted a panhandler who got into the newer truck and the video is going viral (JIMMY SEVERS/FACEBOOK)
A man confronted a panhandler who got into the newer truck and the video is going viral (JIMMY SEVERS/FACEBOOK)

But the panhandler’s brother says it’s actually Severs’ behavior in the video that he doesn’t like.

“Like, wow, did the stranger ask him anything about his situation, just slandered him that bad,” says Ralph Heiser.

KOIN 6 News was contacted by several people claiming the panhandler, whose name is Roy, has mental health issues. Roy’s brother says those issues were made worse when he lost loved ones.

“He said to me he has no hope for living no more because his wife and daughter are dead.”

Ralph Heiser says his brother Roy has mental health issues, May 26, 2016 (KOIN)
Ralph Heiser says his brother Roy has mental health issues, May 26, 2016 (KOIN)

Heiser says his 68-year-old brother actually lives in that truck seen in the video when he can’t afford a motel room. He pays for the room with loose change.

“Everybody thinks there’s something underlying, like he lives in a mansion. There’s no mansion, he’s lost everything,” says friend Latasha Miller.

Family and friends tell KOIN 6 News they’ve tried to help Roy, but he doesn’t always listen. They have encouraged him to sell the truck but they understand why he doesn’t.

“That’s the only thing he has left in the whole wide world is his truck,” Heiser says.

Heiser is now worried for Roy’s safety. He says someone kicked his truck last night, leaving a big dent in it.

 

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