AP NEWS

Havasu man cited for illegal camping

April 10, 2019

A Lake Havasu City man who was told to leave the Body Beach area by police was recently cited for illegal camping in a tunnel that runs under a city street.

According to Lake Havasu City Police, Mark Anthony Whitaker, 52, was cited by police Wednesday, April 3, for sleeping in a drainage tunnel that runs under Swanson Avenue.

Police said officers were conducting foot patrols in the early-morning hours through the Pima Wash when they saw a man laying on the ground in a sleeping bag inside the drainage tunnel. When the man was asked what he was doing, he said he was sleeping. He said he didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to sleep inside the tunnel.

Officers then saw another man, identified as Whitaker, laying under a blanket sleeping inside a smaller drainage pipe that was inside the main tunnel. Police said he woke up as their flashlights played over him. Whitaker also said he didn’t know it was illegal to sleep inside the tunnel.

When officers checked for outstanding warrants on the men, they were informed that Whitaker had been warned for illegal camping at Body Beach March 14, 2019.

Because he had been previously warned about illegal camping, police cited him. The other man was formally warned, but not cited, because it was his first illegal camping incident.

Officers told the men to not return to the area or illegally camp inside city limits. Both men moved along without incident.

Whitaker was ordered to appear in city Justice Court May 14.