Covering Kentucky

May 29, 2014 5:21 AM

Bogus Beggar Turns Up In Louisville

Kentucky's infamous bogus beggar turned up in Louisville Wednesday.

LEX 18 has chronicled Gary Thompson's journey around the state, and even into Ohio, for more than a year. Police say Thompson fakes mental and physical disabilities to scam people out of money. An LEX 18 reporter busted him in the act last year.

"I appreciate you guys busting me," Thompson told reporters last year in Lexington. "Y'all really good at it, really good. I average about $100,000 a year doing this."

He even tried his act on a Franklin County judge. Records indicate police have arrested Thompson at least nine times. Four of those arrests were in Lexington.

On Wednesday, WAVE 3 reporter John Boel followed Thompson and found he was back to his old tricks. Boel says Thompson used the name "Gary Davis," and even tried to scam him with another sob story. Following is the conversation between Boel and Thompson according to WAVE 3.

"Please help, fell out of my wheelchair today, all my coins, somebody take it," Thompson said. "Need bus fare get back home."

I asked him what was wrong.

"Hit by truck 9-year-old, but I no hurt that bad, left side," he said.

I asked him his name.

"Gary Davis, nice to meet you," he said.

Then I pulled out a real camera and started recording.

"You're really Gary Thompson," I said. "My name is John Boel with WAVE, been watching you. You're the bogus beggar guy who makes $100,000 a year right? Yeah you are, got a degree in speech pathology, able to change your voice. I've seen all the stories on you."

"That's a lie," he said. "I don't want to be on camera. I never ask them nothing I going to Churchill Downs."

I told him he could be straight with me because I know his deal.

"Not doing no deal," he said. "Put me off camera don't want to be on camera. I don't do nothing wrong."

I asked him if it's true he burned through a $2,500,000 judgment in a lawsuit. He nodded yes, then said, "Not burn. Don't want to be on camera. I break it."

I asked him if he feels bad faking this act when there are people around him who are really suffering.

"I not faking nothing," he said.

Boel says Thompson gave him a wink once the camera was off.


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