Pregnant panhandler sparks angry response after driving off in Mercedes-Benz

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - It's a similar story to one we told you about in Oklahoma City.

A woman in San Diego says she saw a pregnant woman begging for money before getting into a Mercedes-Benz.

Melissa Smith said she saw a pregnant panhandler and her son at the Eastlake Plaza every weekend.

"I felt bad, there's a pregnant lady with a little boy and is down on her luck," said Smith. "The dad comes out on the weekends and stands with them."

She held up a cardboard sign, asking for money.

According to Smith, a lot of people gave her cash.

Smith said she was getting gas when she saw the couple at their usual spot.

"They were leaving and I noticed they got into a Mercedes-Benz, I thought, 'Wow, a Mercedes-Benz?" she said.

She just shook her head and got into her car to drive away.

"Lo and behold, they were in front of us, and here they are counting money, laughing. Their little boy is not in a car seat or seat belt. He's all the way in the front seat with them," she said.

Smith says she watched them drive to another plaza.

"She sits there with the sign. He goes and parks the Mercedes. And they put up the sign and not less than five minutes, here she is getting money from all these people," she said.

As Smith was taking pictures of the woman, the panhandler saw her.

"Next thing I know, she picks up this big boulder about this big, goes over her head, I don't know if pregnant people can do that, but it was pretty big over her head and coming at me with this rock," she said.

Another witness saw the whole thing and called 911.

"She grabs her little boy and takes off through the middle of the parking lot," Smith said.

Police responded but the couple had already left by the time officers arrived.

Homeless advocates recommend not giving money directly to people on the street.

Instead, they say it's better to donate money, gently used clothes or volunteer time to reputable charities.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.