A Branford man who has become a fixture at the intersection of Cedar and North Main streets asking for roadside donations from passing motorists was arrested late yesterday afternoon on drug charges, according to police.
Lawrence Hayden, 63, of North Main in Branford, was taken into custody after he was found in possession of 10 bags of heroin. He was charged with possession of narcotics.
Investigating Officers Marc Andrew and Dominic Eula interviewed Hayden, who told them he had purchased the heroin with funds given to him earlier in the day by motorists, police said.
Hayden regularly sought donations by posting signs that he and his dog were homeless and hungry.
“In many cases roadside solicitors are motivated by drugs and use deception to play on the hearts of our law abiding and generous citizen,” Branford Police Chief Kevin Halloran warned residents in a department press release regarding the arrest.
"Be cautious of those collecting funds for food and shelter as our community has a number of excellent social service program that provide those basic needs," Halloran added.
Hayden was released on a promise to appear in New Haven Court on Oct. 29.