Thursday, July 13, 2000

Homeless Ohio man inherits $300,000

The Associated Press

        LONG BEACH, Calif. — After spending 20 years on the streets, often sleeping in an alley, Steven Kent is about to head home to Ohio to collect a $300,000 inheritance.

        Police tracked down the homeless man after his sister, Bonnie White, reported him missing in January. They plan to send him home by bus to Sulphur Springs, Ohio, about 60 miles northwest of Columbus.

        Cpl. Ron Quarn, a bicycle patrol man who had cited Mr. Kent about 75 times for minor offenses, found him in an alley where Mr. Kent was known to sleep.

        “It should help everybody all around,” Officer David Merander said Wednesday of Mr. Kent's return to Ohio.

        Mr. Kent, believed to be about 40, may be able to get the help he needs, and the city will not have to worry about him, Officer Merander said.

        Details of the inheritance of cash and property were not immediately available.

        Mr. Kent has been in custody for about a week on warrants for minor offenses, Officer Merander said. He has been cited numerous times for petty offenses that include drinking in public and having a shopping cart.

        Officer Merander said authorities have tried to put Mr. Kent on a bus before, but the bus driver would not let him on because of his dirty appearance.

        This time, Cpl. Quarn and retired probation officer Victor Vargas bought clothes for Mr. Kent, and Cpl. Quarn gave Mr. Kent some of his clothes. They bought the bus ticket with money sent by Kent's sister.

        When she learned her brother had been found, Ms. White contacted Mr. Vargas, told him about the inheritance and asked him to help get Mr. Kent back to his hometown.


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