HAZARD – A Hazard man was arrested during the Black Gold Festival last week and accused of using a false story to solicit money from a Vietnam War veteran.
Police launched a search for 41-year-old Danny Neace after a social worker with the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center reported that Neace had attempted to take $125 from an elderly man near the veterans center’s festival display on Main Street Friday afternoon.
Lt. Paul Campbell with the Hazard Police Department said after receiving the social worker’s complaint, he spoke with the alleged victim on Friday before obtaining an arrest warrant.
“He stated that Mr. Neace had approached him, and said that Neace had requested money for his kids to use for tickets to ride rides and buy things during the festival,” Campbell said.
Neace was handed a check for $125, Campbell added, but the social worker quickly retrieved it and Neace wasn’t able to leave the scene with the money. He was located by police about an hour later.
Campbell said while he is unaware of Neace being charged with crimes of this nature in the past, Neace is not unfamiliar to local authorities for soliciting money at different locations around Hazard. He said Neace was fully cooperative when questioned about Friday’s incident, and admitted to soliciting money from the man earlier that day.
“He was asked how long he had done this type of activity, and he said about 10 years, so this isn’t anything new to him,” Campbell said. “He also admitted he had no intention whatsoever of paying the victim back.”
Neace was charged with knowing exploitation of an adult, theft by deception under $500, and second-degree disorderly conduct, all misdemeanor charges.