ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Milton McKnight has been a mainstay in downtown Orlando for 26 years. He sits in his wheelchair, selling drinks and flowers, while he battles spastic cerebral palsy, a condition with which he was born. Monday through Friday, he sits outside 130 Orange Avenue. The people who work in the shops there all know Milton.
“I feel so blessed to have him there, because there are days when I’m having a pity party about something so stupid and you see Milton and he’s in a good mood and he’s just so sweet,” said Karyn Evans who works in the building.
Indeed, when you see Milton smiling on the street, it’s hard not to smile back. Most people say hello, some stop and chat, and many drop money into his jar.
“We all kind of take care of Milton,” Evans said, “Everyone in the building and in the community.”
Friday, it was someone taking money out of his jar that got Evans’ attention. She was watching from her office window when a man approached Milton.
“[Milton has] the bucket and I just knew that’s what the guy was going for, because it’s happened before, and I just ran out the door and started yelling at him, but he did get his money,” Evans told FOX 35.
Evans ran inside to call the cops, while two other friends of Milton’s ran after the alleged thief.
Orlando Police said the man was Samuel Morrison, 29, a transient who Milton said he’d never seen before.
Luckily, the cops caught up with Morrison a few blocks away and he gave all the money back. He's now facing robbery charges at the Orange County Jail, a relief for Milton and the people who look out for him.
It's not the first time he's been robbed, and he doesn't think it'll be the last, but Milton knows he can count on his friends when he’s in need.
“[I feel] very, very grateful,” he said, “Very thankful.”