UPDATE: Glasgow Police Arrest Infamous Panhandler Gary Thompson

By: Trent Brock Email
By: Trent Brock Email
A man who says he made up to six figures a year scamming people in Lexington, begging for money and food while pretending to be disabled, has become well-known in our area recently. He

Gary Thompson

GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) -- The Happy Valley Inn is what some would say is a quiet motel for guests visiting Glasgow, but this week it has received a lot of attention.

"Even if I were to panhandle, I couldn't say it. Because I just couldn't. I'm the best in the world though. The best panhandler in the world," said Gary Thompson (31) in a June 27 interview with WBKO.

Thompson has said in previous media interviews that he made up to six figures a year scamming people in Lexington, begging for money and food while pretending to be disabled.

Now everyone is talking about Thompson's arrest on Saturday night for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

Earlier in the week, WBKO viewers helped find Thompson. We asked him if the reports of his begging and pretending to be disabled were true.

"I sued Honda for like $2.4 million years ago, but that money was gone after the market crashed, so I was homeless. My mom has cancer. So then I had to panhandle to have a place to stay and be able to eat," said Thompson.

After being asked if he stopped panhandling, he said he had. Business owners in Glasgow disagree with him.

Glasgow police say his actions on Saturday night are what caused him to be taken to the Barren County Detention Center. Police say they received two complaints about Thompson that night.

Witnesses say it all started when he tried to make his way around a vending machine.

"He flipped his chair over, again," says Happy Valley Inn manager Paula Scott.

"He sat there cussing and spitting out a bunch of obscenities and stuff and talking about suing," says motel guest Rory Florea.

Scott says she refused to get involved, and it only escalated from there.

"He starts jumping up and down and shaking his fist at me and everything," says Scott.

"I watched him make his way around the Coke machine in his wheelchair. He stopped right at the corner of the building, stood up, opened the door, and started screaming and hollering at the manager," says Florea.

Then witnesses say he damaged a light fixture outside the front lobby. It was a commotion that could be seen and heard from the shopping center across the street.

"He picked himself up right out of his chair, stood up, and ended up smashing the light with the back of his fist," says Florea.

Nearby businesses say they're glad Thompson is behind bars as they file paperwork to hopefully ban him from their properties.

"The fact that I don't have to worry about him. You know, you don't need people like that around," says Florea.

"In the end, I'm glad this is done because I just hate for any good customer to end up giving money, no offense, to someone who doesn't need it," says Jonathan Adwell, an assistant manager at Houchens.

"I'm not sure about the light fixture, whether that's a major issue right now. The main issue is getting him out of the motel. That's our biggest thing - just out!" says Scott.

The neighboring businesses around the Happy Valley Inn say they've seen less customers since Thompson starting hanging around.

Police say Thompson is expected to appear in court on Monday.


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