MT. GREENWOOD — Multiple residents said they haven’t seen James Robb, also known as “The Flower Guy,” continue to sell flowers at intersection of 111th Street and Pulaski Road after he was arrested Saturday evening.
Robb has sold flowers in the area nearly every day for decades.
Robb was in the 11000 block of S. Pulaski Road when he was arrested at 8:15 p.m. Saturday by officers who saw him selling flowers, police said.
Although the 70-year-old man was released early Sunday according to online police records, neighbors said they haven’t seen him back in the area since.
Following Robb’s arrest, hundreds of community members spoke out against the incident on a neighborhood Facebook page, while others said he’s previously impeded traffic flow at the intersection.
Resident Mike Zamora said he’s seen similar criticism on Facebook groups in the past. After hearing about Robb’s arrest, however, he didn’t believe it was necessary, saying he’s never seen Robb “do anything wrong.”
“They should’ve left him alone, he wasn’t bothering anybody. It’s not like he was panhandling, he was selling flowers,” Zamora said.
Patch reported that Robb was “told numerous times he could not be peddling flowers in the street” by officers prior to his arrest.
Erin Acosia and other neighborhoods who witnessed the incident said they believed passerbys had called police to complain about Robb Saturday evening, leading to his arrest.
Chicago Police Department 22nd District officers and the office of Ald. Matthew O’Shea (19th) declined to comment.
Acosia, who lives three blocks away from the intersection where Robb was arrested, said he’s “been there for as long as [she] can remember.”
While she said he’s briefly held up traffic in the past, she said there was “no reason he should’ve been arrested.”
“I couldn’t believe it happened,” she added. “I drive by there almost everyday and he’s never been rude or disrespectful.”
Although he initially wasn’t aware of Robb’s arrest himself, resident Peye King similarly expressed shock at the incident.
“He’s a nice guy who’s never caused any trouble I know of. He’s just been out here trying to make a living, so that makes no sense to me. I don’t know why they did that,” King said.