An Ohio woman who says she is battling mental health issues and can’t find a job was recently spotted by a police officer while taking change from a fountain; the officer charged her with theft after finding $2.87 in change in her pockets, and now the town is rallying around the woman.
Deidre Romine says she didn’t know that taking change from a fountain was wrong and was only looking for some cash to feed herself and her pets. The story resonated with residents in Bellefontaine, who have raised more than $1,000 to help Romine and keep her from losing her apartment.
“Soon as the cop asked me what I was doing and I was afraid to tell him. The money didn’t belong to anybody so I just took it out of there,” Romine said. “I’m trying to feed myself and I’ve got four cats I’m raising and I’m trying to feed them.”
Romine has a case worker through mental health services in her county, but the community is trying to spread the word about her story so that when people hear why she was arrested, they’ll know what her motivation was.
“We want the community to know the why rather than just the headline that she got arrested and we also want to help her out,” Will Zell, who is leading an online donation drive for Romine, said.
Romine’s court date is set for November 25.