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Would You Go To Jail Over A Parking Space?

Vacant parking lot
ThinkStock
This story comes from Florida, although it involves a 72 year old man from Pennsylvania. The man was going to a state park in Florida that has a beach, but after driving around for 45 minutes (he says) looking for a spot to park, he finally saw someone preparing to pull out. He stopped his car, waiting for the other car to leave, but in so doing, he blocked the entrance to the park.

I don’t know what took the departing car so long to pull out, but apparently it took long enough to foul up traffic on two separate roads. It got bad enough that a sheriff’s deputy approached the car and told the 72 year old to move as he was creating a traffic hazard. The man refused. The deputy pointed out the fact that he was, indeed, a law enforcement officer and he was telling him to move. Again, the man refused. Right about then the other car finally left and the old man pulled into the space, but he wasn’t done ignoring the deputy.

The man was told he was under arrest, but he resisted holding on to his van so he couldn’t be handcuffed; another deputy arrived on the scene and man taunted them, saying “What are you going to do, beat up a 72 year old man?” They didn’t need to beat him up, they got his hands behind his back and cuffed him. He was charged with resisting an officer, among other charges. Now, I don’t condone what the old man did, and I never try to find a parking spot as absolutely close to the door as possible, but I also have a problem with venues that don’t have sufficient parking for the crowds they hope to attract. If the old man actually did have to spend 45 minutes to find a spot, where were all the people he was blocking going to park? Maybe I got spoiled growing up in suburban America where parking is plentiful, but if you want a ton of people to come to your beach, or store, or restaurant, have enough parking.

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