It was a beautiful day in my neighborhood.
The sun was shining. The birds might have even been singing. It was 12:10 and I had just walked with my kids to my car after having had a quick lunch at one of our local eateries.
And then the day turned dark…
A parking enforcement police officer was out and about writing tickets for senseless infractions in the municipal lot where we parked.
And then he stopped at my car. And started writing.
“Why are you writing me a ticket?” I asked in my politest demanding voice. I knew my tags and plates were all up to date so I was baffled as to what he could possibly cite me for.
“It’s two hour parking. I marked your car at 9:45. You’re parked here for more than two hours.”
He might have had a point except there was one glaring GLARING hole in his argument: My car was parked outside of my house at 9:45 am that day. In fact we did not even leave the house till about 11:30. I wasn’t even parked in the lot for forty-five minutes.
There was no possible way he could have marked my car unless he knew where I lived, drove to my house and then chalked it, as is the preferred method of marking cars in my town.
“That’s impossible,” I continued to explain to the police officer. “My kids didn’t even wake up until after nine o’clock. There is no possible way I could have even been here at that time.”
This was true as we had just returned less than twelve hours prior from California. My children had gone to sleep close to one am and I had to work hard to wake them up around 9:15 am.
He was busted and we both knew it. Then he took out a flip phone (didn’t know they still make those and I would think an officer of the law would have a phone with more advanced features) and told us he was making a call to what I understood to be another police enforcement officer to find out if he marked the car.
” No. No. He said he didn’t mark your car. It was me. I marked it.”
“Yeah you just marked it now.” I was getting extremely aggravated. I was parked next to a bank and several other businesses that all have surveillance cameras. This would have been so easy to prove in court. Besides I could have brought out a half dozen neighbors who saw my car parked in front of my home at 9:45.
He must have known he was fighting a battle he would lose and would ultimately look foolish to his peers.
“OK. I’ll give you a pass this time.” I wanted to throw up. In his face. He was giving me a pass?
He’s the one who got the pass as I didn’t chase after him to get his badge number and report him to his superiors.
He could have tried to save face with me all he wanted but now unfortunately I have a new perspective on things.
Had I not caught him red-handed I would have had to take a significant portion of a day to go and fight an infraction which I never even committed. Could I have proven my innocence? Easily. But at my expense which would have involved a tremendous amount of time and aggravation.
Some people would just throw their hands up and pay the fine even if they should not legally be held responsible for it. And I have been wondering all day if this police officer was hoping that this would be the case with me.