Camp Bravo founder finds himself behind bars after helping veteran

Published: Aug. 11, 2017 at 12:47 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 11, 2017 at 5:26 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - He's known for helping homeless veterans in our community, but Lewis Arthur, the founder of Camp Bravo, found himself behind bars Wednesday night, Aug. 9, while doing just that..

"I just wanted to know she was OK. That's it," Arthur said.

The "she" Arthur is referring to is 83-year-old Virginia, a veteran of the Marine Corps. Virginia caught the attention of Crystal Smith, a Phoenix Waffle House employee, who checked on her and found out she had been sitting at the restaurant for hours.

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"She told she was dropped off at the restaurant at approximately 3 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. by her daughter," Smith said. "So I asked her for her daughter's phone number and she didn't want to give me her daughter's phone number because her daughter would yell at her."

Smith says she called Arthur for help. He said he offered to get Virginia help in Tucson, and they made the trip down from Phoenix.

"So many families were going shopping for clothes for her. Helping her look for an apartment. Furniture for her apartment. There were so many wonderful things that happened within the first six hours of getting her. When everyone found out what had happened to her," Arthur said.

Virginia wound up at Northwest Medical Center because she was not feeling well. That is when Arthur said the problems started.

"She was literally saying I don't want to go to Phoenix. I don't want you to leave. Please stay. And the hospital saying you have to leave."

According to hospital staff they called the Pima County Sheriff's Department and it was deputies that asked Arthur to leave.

He did just that and a short time later, according hospital security, they learned that Arthur might have a weapon. They say the hospital was then placed on lockdown.

Arthur was taken into custody in the parking lot and now faces charges for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

A situation, he said, that got wildly out of hand.

"We took care of her. We picked her up. We brought her home," Arthur said. "We had a chance with her and it got ripped from us."

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