On Sunday May 21, a video was uploaded to YouTube of a woman in Virginia who pretended to be homeless in order to beg for money. In the video, which made it to Reddit’s front page on Monday, she was confronted as two men discovered that she had left her panhandling spot to go back to her car.
The woman, later identified as Micha Leigh Dominguez, was known in the area for soliciting people for money near an intersection in Richmond, Virginia. After watching her finish her panhandling and leave the area, two men decided to see where she went and followed her around the corner.
She arrived at a McDonalds parking lot, where she was parked. That’s when she is confronted with the fact that her car, a good-looking model from 2014, called into question her need to beg for money in the first place.
They question her about her homeless status after realising she is is lying about her financial position. She acts as if she doesn’t know what they are talking about, and heads to the McDonalds to ask for help. The employees there understandably inform her they can’t do anything, so she gives up and heads back.
Eventually she tells them that she doesn’t beg because she is homeless, but because she has a disability. She is asked what the nature of her disability is, but she refuses to respond and leaves in her car. They accuse her of getting help from the government she doesn’t need, when there are people out there without fancy cars who genuinely need the help.
While it was unclear when the video was filmed, it was posted to YouTube on Sunday. By the Tuesday morning it had been viewed over 2 million times. It has since been taken down, with YouTube citing that this was done because it violates their policy on harassment and bullying.
But in a recent development, it appears that the woman has been arrested in Henrico County, Virginia. On Monday afternoon, Henrico police officers were called to an intersection due to a “disorderly situation”. The complainant said that while she had been standing on the central reservation of the road, people had begun to harass and film her.
The bewildering events were explained in detail by Lt. Richard Cosby of the Henrico Police. In an official statement he said:
“While speaking with the complainant, the officers were approached by another woman who told officers that the subject they were talking with had thrown items at their cars while in the parking lot, and that the incident had been videotaped, which was subsequently shared with the officers.”
The assailant was identified as Micha Leigh Dominguez, the same woman who had been pretending to be homeless. She had thrown three full bottles of Gatorade at the other woman’s car. Now infamous in the area, and going viral on the internet, she was recognised as the panhandler from the video earlier this week.
Dominguez was taken to Henrico County Jail on account of being charged with three counts of throwing a missile at a moving vehicle, a felony in violation of Virginia law.