Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Add sprinklers to the perils of homelessness

Posted By on August 15, 2012, 11:01 AM

Life on the streets is tough. That's nothing new. But who knew that sprinklers could lead to serious injuries? At least, that's what one homeless man found out last Saturday night. ---

The incident occurred at Exchange Place in downtown Salt Lake City. According to the Salt Lake City Police Department watch log, a 35-year-old transient was sleeping on a grass easement by a parking garage when, just before 2 a.m., the sprinklers kicked on.

He rolled over from the grass to escape the shower only to end up in front of the parking-garage door. An exiting driver ran him over. His injuries were bad enough for him to be taken to the hospital, where he's currently in critical but stable condition.

SLCPD aren't quite clear on what happened. Detective Mike Hamideh says the man "was in such bad shape, we weren't able to get much of a statement."

The Salt Lake City Council recently did away with the camping ordinance that banned people from sleeping outdoors. Hamideh says that given shelters and other resources, there's no reason for people to sleep on the streets. The incident was "a real tragedy."

He asks that if members of the public see transients asleep on public easements, they should report it to the police. Not only for law enforcement, he notes, but for the range of resources the cops can call upon to assist with medical, mental-health and addiction issues that typically beset the city's homeless population.  

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