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Crime

Woman in “Fake Homeless” viral video arrested on felony charges in West End Monday evening

40-year-old Micha Leigh Dominguez was arrested on three counts of throwing a “missile” at a moving vehicle.

Trevor Dickerson

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A woman featured in a now viral video in which two men approached and accused her of panhandling without need has been arrested, Henrico Police say.

In the video, which as been viewed more than 2 million times and made the front page of Reddit since being uploaded on Sunday, two men approach a woman in the parking lot of a McDonald’s near the intersection of W. Broad Street and Glenside Drive as she is getting into her FIAT sport utility vehicle. The two had watched her return from the median of W. Broad where she held a sign up that claimed she was homeless and begged for money. She is then seen examining an envelope the men claim contained the cash she collected while panhandling.

The men asked whether she was actually homeless and accused her of taking advantage of the charity of passersby. She then taps on the window of the McDonald’s drive-thru and claims the men are harassing her. An employee who appears in the window subsequently claims she can’t do anything unless the men are preventing her from leaving, and they respond that they can’t stop her and she is free to go.

The men then claim to the McDonald’s employee that they have observed the woman parking in their lot while panhandling, claiming she “hasn’t spent a dollar” in the establishment.

Photo: 1T Productions via YouTube

A short time later, the woman walks back to her car as the men question her once again. She then claims she is not homeless, but rather is on disability. They then question her about how much money she receives from the government.

As the video’s popularity soared, the woman presumably moved to another location but was recognized by motorists who began filming her as she stood in the median of W. Broad near Gaskins Road outside an IHOP Restaurant Monday afternoon. Police were called to the scene for reports of a “disorderly situation” a short time later, according to a statement released to the media:

“Upon arrival the officers located the female complainant in the parking lot near the IHOP restaurant,” said Henrico Police Lt. Richard Cosby. “The complainant advised officers that while standing in the median, several people began harassing her and videotaping her. While speaking with the complainant, the officers were approached by another woman who told officers that the subject they were talking with had thrown items at their cars while in the parking lot, and that the incident had been videotaped, which was subsequently shared with the officers.”

After reviewing the video, officers charged the woman, who was identified as Micha Leigh Dominguez, 40, of Tappahannock, with three counts of throwing a missile at a moving car, a felony. The “missiles” were reportedly full Gatorade bottles.

She is currently at the Henrico County Jail on a secured bond.

Editor’s note: The original YouTube video has been removed in violation of the website’s policy on “harassment and bullying.” We had previously embedded the video ourselves but decided to remove it in full and retain the screenshots thereof.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.