Watch out for aggressive panhandlers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Watch out for aggressive panhandlers

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YAKIMA--Yakima police want you to be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially panhandlers, while driving.

Officers typically see more panhandlers asking drivers for money at this time of year.

On Thursday night, one man jumped in front of a moving car, injuring himself and delaying traffic.

Police say don't run in and out of traffic, or do anything to encourage others to walk on busy roadways.

"That's the last thing we need is people standing right on the curb stepping into traffic," Lt. Mike Merryman, Yakima Police Department, said.  "Folks are [typically donating] out of the goodness of their heart, but having folks in and out of heavy traffic flow areas is not good."

Merryman says the safest way to help people in need is by giving money to charitable organizations like Salvation Army or Red Cross rather than to individual people.

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