Salvation Army bell ringer assaulted at south Fort Myers Publix

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

We are accustomed to seeing Salvation Army bell ringers in front of stores during the holidays. But, on Monday evening, a bell ringer was assaulted while trying to collect money for those in need.

The manager of that Publix location told WINK News this was not a robbery. This Publix is located along South Pointe Boulevard in south Fort Myers.

Now, people who live and work nearby wonder why this heartwarming holiday tradition turned violent.

Jack Lu works at the Tasty Wok located right next door to Publix. “Basically, there was a bunch of cops just in this general area surrounding basically the complex,” said Lu.

“I was kind of scared because they’re just trying to do the right thing, and someone just came up and attacked them,” Lu said.

Those who shop here frequently say the Publix just off of McGregor Blvd in south Fort Myers is quiet, and they’d never expect something like this to happen here. Donna says she’s been shopping at this Publix for more than a decade.

“That’s terrible, especially around Christmas. That’s terrible,” said Donna. “I’m so sorry. God bless you.”

They’re just hoping this attacker is caught by law enforcement soon. “I feel like that’s very wrong. They’re trying to help people,” said Lu.

Bell ringers collect money each day from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. They collect enough money to help almost 25 million people every year.

WINK News reached out to The Salvation Army and Lee County Sheriff’s Office, but we have not yet heard back.

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