ASU student mistaken as homeless not allowed to meditate in city park

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

An ASU student meditating in between classes at a park across the street says a security guard told him he wasn’t allowed to lie down because he appeared homeless.

Ira Sanchez, 27, attends ASU’s Downtown campus and went across the street to City Space Park Thursday to clear his head.

“I had class at noon and I decided to come out and enjoy the park. It was a beautiful day,” said Sanchez.

The junior says he put his hat over his eyes and used his backpack to rest his head on when a security guard approached him.

“The security guard informed me I’m not allowed to lay [sic] down at the park. I very blatantly asked if it was because I looked poor or like I was homeless and he said yes,” said Sanchez.

The student took the comment personally.

“I looked behind me and there was an older gentleman sunbathing all oily and he was very clearly laying [sic] down.” said Sanchez.

On Friday, Sanchez says the same security guard was patrolling the park. Dawn Wicketts says he also approached her.

“I fell asleep. He said you’re allowed to lay [sic] down but you can’t be asleep,” said Wicketts.

A City spokesman says sleeping is allowed during park hours and that people are only woken up if a security guard thinks the park patron might have a medical issue.

In a statement, Public Information Officer Gregg Bach says:

“Civic Space Park is a popular location in downtown Phoenix. The safety and well-being of park users is of the highest importance, and security personnel at this location will interact with guests of the park if they feel there is a concern about an individual’s welfare.”

Sanchez hopes the same mistake doesn’t happen again.

“People are human no matter how much money they make,” he said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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