One man’s goodwill toward another left him beaten and without a car, according to Fairfax County Police.
Outside the Vienna Metro station the night of Aug. 25, a panhandler persistently asked another man for money, according to a search warrant obtained by News4’s Northern Virginia Bureau. The man refused to give the panhandler cash and instead invited him to his home for a meal, police said.
The victim acted on good intentions, police said.
“[He] wanted to see what [he] could do to help someone who they felt was down, homeless, down on their luck and that sort of thing,” police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.
With the panhandler in his car, the victim drove just down the street to his home. Once there, the panhandler "refused to eat” and became fixated on the man’s belongings, the warrant says.
The victim decided to drive the man back to the Metro station, but the panhandler refused to get out of the car.
The panhandler grabbed the keys out of the ignition and got out of the car pretending to throw them across the parking lot, the warrant says. But he got back into the car with the keys in between his fingers and started brutally punching the victim, according to the warrant.
“After he beat the victim, he then took the vehicle," Caldwell said.
She's not discouraging generosity, but she is urging caution.
“As far as having a stranger in your home or in your vehicle, you do have to be extremely cautious, especially when you’re alone,” she said.
The victim is expected to be OK.
Police are working to identify the panhandler.