The Ledger: Civil Rights Group Protest Arrest of Winter Haven Women Accused of Not Paying for Meal

WINTER HAVEN, FL — After breakfast, “Mother” Lewis ended up in handcuffs. The image of the 78-year-old woman sitting in a holding cell had more than 20 people protesting outside A&G Restaurant in Winter Haven on Wednesday morning.

Protesters rally in front of the A&G Restaurant in Winter Haven.

Protesters rally in front of the A&G Restaurant in Winter Haven.

The Jan. 14 arrest and the events that followed has entangled the restaurant staff, two women facing charges, Winter Haven police, the State Attorney’s Office and the protesters defending the women and urging potential customers not to eat at A&G.

The fact that Willie “Mother” Lewis and her daughter Ruthena Lewis, 44, ate at A&G and left without paying is undisputed.

The pair left the restaurant, at 1174 Havendale Blvd., were arrested at their church and charged with misdemeanors.

“They should not have treated her that way,” said Bishop Joseph Lewis, who is with Church of God and True Holiness and is the diocese bishop for Southern Florida, which includes the Winter Haven church. Lewis was with the protesters as cars honked and zoomed past.

Read the entire article in The Ledger.

*Update: All alleged charges against Willie “Mother” Lewis and her daughter Ruthena Lewis have been TERMINATED AND DISMISSED.

Letter of Dismissal (Willie “Mother” Lewis)

Letter of Dismissal (Ruthena Lewis)

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