DENVER — A Colorado motorist was given a citation from a local law enforcement officer for leaving his car parked at a curbside meter several minutes after the time had expired.
Florist Leigh Flanders was shocked when he came to move his vehicle, a 2002 black Subaru Impreza, and noticed a pink slip of paper tucked under the right windshield wiper.
“It was surreal,” said Flanders, who has never before been in trouble with the law, “like something from one of those cop shows.”
Officer Peter Ptouscak was on routine patrol when he observed the parking violation.
“I see a lot of meters on my beat,” said Ptouscak, “but when I came upon the particular meter in question, the red ‘expired’ tag was clearly visible.”
That, in turn, raised a red flag for Officer Ptouscak. “Upon closer examination, I verified my hunch,” he said. “The indicator arrow was pointing to zero.”
Ptouscak knew that could only mean one thing: the suspect’s time had expired.
For his part, Flanders claimed it was an innocent mistake. “I had originally prepaid fifty cents for a full hour,” he explained. “Regrettably, I got to my car about five minutes too late.”
Flanders offered an apology to the Denver police department and Officer Ptouscak for the efforts they expended in handling his case.
“I guess I just didn’t gauge my time properly,” said Flanders. “I have no one to blame but myself.”
“If this experience makes Mr. Flanders a more responsible citizen,” said Ptouscak, “then it will have all been worth it.”