One was fast, and the other was furious.
Philly.com ran the story Monday of a man who apparently got a parking ticket in record time: before he’d even gotten out of his car.
The strange case of preemptive enforcement took place July 10, driver Brian Yan said, when he pulled into a central Philadelphia parking space.
As columnist Stu Bykofsky recounted the tale:
[Yan said,] “I pull up, take off my sunglasses, turn off the ignition and reach for a roll of quarters” he keeps in the car for dumb meters that don’t take credit cards.
He steps out of the car, “I hit my clicker,” the automatic door lock, “it makes a ‘hoo-hoo’ noise” and Yan heads for the curb to feed the meter. He sees a parking-enforcement officer writing a ticket.
“Where did you come from?” asks the startled parking-enforcement officer, Alfred Toto.
“From the driver’s seat,” Yan says, trying not to sound smart-alecky. “I assume you’re not giving me a ticket.”
“Your meter has expired,” says Toto.
“I just pulled into the spot,” replies Yan, who is wondering if Toto is putting him on or maybe he’s on “Candid Camera.”
Yan’s Taurus has Jersey plates because he lives in Merchantville. He’s 37 and has been a teacher for most of his adult life.
“Well, I’ve already processed the ticket,” Toto says.
“You can’t give a ticket to someone who’s just pulled into a spot,” Yan complains.
“I can’t do anything about it,” says Toto. “You’ll get a hearing.”
“Can’t you give me a recision?” Yan asks.
“Not if it’s already processed,” says Toto, who’s now backing away because PEOs are cautioned to avoid confrontations with motorists, some of whom are dangerous hotheads.
Yan accepts the $36 “meter-expired” ticket, goes home and files for a hearing by email.
Bykofsky went on to write that he contacted the Philadelphia Parking Authority and the executive director vouched for Toto, who is apparently a 14-year ticket-writing veteran.
According to the Parking Authority, Toto simply didn’t see Yan in his car, and while a hearing date is still pending, it seems as if Yan will be able to beat the ticket.
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