Officer tickets handicap parking permit abusers

It’s a misdemeanor to misuse a handicap parking permit.

by Matthew Gruchow

An officer ticketed a man for illegal use of a handicap permit last week after he noticed the man hang a handicap permit from his rearview mirror and possibly fake a limp at 601 Delaware St. S.E., according to police reports.

The officer became suspicious after he noticed the man’s limp appeared and disappeared. He walked normally, and then he limped.

When the officer asked the man about his handicap permit, the man said it was his. A check of it by the officer found that the permit was not the man’s, but had been issued to a woman born in 1919, according to the report.

It is a misdemeanor to misuse a permit, and Hennepin County requires a minimum fine of $520, said Steve Johnson, deputy chief of the University Police Department.

Johnson said approximately 100 tickets for misusing handicap permits are issued each year.

However, catching violators requires a lot of work by officers, he said.

“You have to investigate. It’s not just a parking ticket,” Johnson said. “You have to actually investigate how the person is using the permit.”

The man eventually admitted to misusing the permit, according to the police report.

“I lied,” the man told the officer. “I used it for free parking.”

The next day, the same officer issued a ticket to a retired professor from the University’s School of Nursing for the same offense, according to police reports.

The professor used her mother’s permit to get free parking at a meter during a flu shot appointment.

Peeking man ticketed

A male officer on plain-clothes assignment ticketed a man Wednesday for peeking into the officer’s stall while he was using the restroom.

Theft from a vehicle

A woman who parked her car on the third level of the hospital ramp at 601 Delaware St. S.E. had her car stereo stolen last week

The woman returned to her car to find the passenger door lock broken and her compact disk player missing, according to reports.

Marijuana possession

An officer stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Union Street Southeast and Washington Avenue Southeast for driving without headlights last week.

Officers issued the driver a ticket for driving without headlights and for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

The marijuana was confiscated, and the man was released.

Drinking in the dorms

Officers were sent to Centennial Hall on Sunday to check on two male residents who had reportedly passed out.

The two men had blood alcohol levels of .150 and .126, respectively. Both were ticketed for underage consumption of alcohol.