Big Al Arrested In Valley West – August 25, 2010
Kevin L. Hoover
VALLEY WEST – The battle of wits and wills between Valley West businesses and corner signholder Alfred Edmundson reached a turning point last week with the citizen’s arrest of Big Al.
A thorn in the side of nearby businesses when he panhandles in Northtown and Valley West, Edmunson had been at odds with the Valley West Chevron at Valley West Boulevard and Giuntoli Lane.
Employees there said that Edmunson had been verbally abusive to them and customers, calling them “Nazis” and other names. One employee obtained a restraining order against Edmundson.
None of the Chevron employees would comment on the record, and Edmundson couldn’t be located for comment. One associate said he had relocated to Northtown, one of his orginal haunts.
APD Lt. Ryan Peterson said officers stood by as a citizen arrested Edmundson for allegedly disturbing the peace and “using words likely to produce a violent reaction.”
“It was to the point where they felt threatened,” Peterson said.
Edmundson’s personality is best described as mercurial, with the serial signholder alternately cordial and hostile, polite and profane on a seemingly random basis.
Several Valley West businesses have reportedly refused to serve him. Peterson said they’ve complained to APD about Edmundson, but that it wasn’t a blacklisting.
Peterson said that Edmundson was “verbally abusive” but otherwise cooperative during his arrest, helping officers secure his two dogs for transport to the county animal shelter.