Auto shop owner, Bruce Redwine, was getting sick and tired of watching Fairfax County parking enforcement officers give his customers tickets for expired tags or inspection stickers — while they were waiting for inspections.
According to Redwine, the officers had been coming by his Chantilly, Virginia auto body shop for years and writing up his customers for whatever random reason they could find — so he finally decided to do something about it.
One day, Officer Jacquelyn D. Hogue made the choice to issue even more tickets to his customers, so an angry Redwine grabbed the citation out of her hand and wrote something profane on the front of it.
This is what occurred, according to Redwine:
I swiped it from her hand. We had a few choice words. I didn’t touch her.
Hogue, who is not even a real cop, was so angry that she called her friends at the police department and had them arrest the business owner for felony assault on a police officer. His case went to court and a judge sentenced him to four days in jail for the supposed assault.
Redwine, outraged that he was charged with assault on someone who was not even a police officer, appealed his case and it was heard in front of a jury. The jury almost immediately threw out his conviction. However, his acquittal came at a high price. Redwine had to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees — and he isn’t the only one who is upset about this situation — his fellow business owners in the area are also outraged that parking enforcement has been allowed to get away with this ticket scheme for so long.
According to the Washington Post Ray Barrera of A&H Equipment Repair says that the city has charged his customers roughly $60,000 over six years:
They’re harassing the small businesses trying to make it in this tough economy.
Redwine commented that before he was charged, he was visited almost daily by parking enforcement, then added:
…in order to retain my clientele, I would eat the ticket. I don’t want to give them a bill for repairs and add-on $50 for a ticket. You think they’ll come back?
He claims to have paid more than $2,000 in just one month.
I’d like to say that I’m shocked by this, but I’m not. It’s not even surprising that the parking enforcement civilian has not been charged with misconduct. It is disgusting though. Disgusting that these enforcement “officers” are taking the easy way out and targeting auto shops where people are trying to fix the very problem they are being ticketed for. Not just disgusting, but pathetic.
If possible, Redwine should take her ass to court and sue her pants off.
Featured image via Fairfaxcounty.gov