CHICAGO — For decades, James Robb, also known as “The Flower Guy,” has been a staple at the intersection of 111th Street and Pulaski Road.
The 70-year-old sells flowers there nearly every day — in rain and sleet and 100 percent humidity. This week, Robb was arrested by Chicago Police for illegally peddling flowers at the intersection, according to a police report.
The arrest infuriated Beverly and Mt. Greenwood residents who have purchased flowers from Robb for years, and who say he’s just trying to make a living. Hundreds of comments on a neighborhood Facebook page defended Robb’s flower sales, but some criticized him for being dangerously in the way of traffic.
The arrest happened at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. Robb was in the 11000 block of South Pulaski Road when he was arrested by officers who saw him peddling flowers, according to Chicago Police News Affairs.
He was released early Sunday, according to online police records.
“This makes me so sad to see that this poor old guy is being hassled for selling flowers,” one commenter wrote. “I agree with all the comments that people have written. What ever happened to free enterprise? I guess that is only OK for drug dealers? I luv the CPD but they clearly have better things to do.”
Patch reports that Robb was “told numerous times he could not be peddling flowers in the street” by officers prior to his arrest.
Though he’d been released, he was not selling flowers in his usual spot on Wednesday, Patch reports.