Four Winds Casino Resort - New Buffalo, MI / Discrimination against disabled veteran
I am a retired veteran U S Navy with 22 years of service. I am writing to express my concern about a parking ticket I received and the pending decision of the court, court fines, court fees, traveling from Indiana to Michigan and lost time from work.
My license plate number is DAV 9118. Officer Jeff Whelan only wrote 9118 on the issuing ticket. This car is registered in Leon he put my wife's name. I Leon was the driver this particular night.
I called Jeff Whelan the officer who wrote the ticket over the phone. I could not get this officer to understand the laws of http://www.dmv.org/mi-Michigan/disabled-drivers. The last paragraph worded 'traveling with a Disability Placard or Plate'. The last sentence states Michigan honors current disability plates and placards from other states.
Next, I tried to plead my case to Captain Jungle. I explained to him that on Michigan DMV website I am allowed to park in handicap with a DAV License plate. I got know where. Captain Jungle told me to take it to court and plead my case. Then he said bye. I stated go ahead hang up on me. I then stated we got know where. Can we solve this without me coming back to Michigan and so I would know in the future. He said go to court. He then came back with the fact that if Four Winds Casino call again and complain about me parking in handicap I would get another ticket.
However, I do believe that this was racially motivated. When we arrived at the Casino there were casino security watching us. No words were exchanged. Upon leaving and after noticing the ticket we immediately got out went back in side and spoke with someone on the floor who came outside and stop the security guy in the truck. I explained to the gentleman in the truck that I received a ticket for parking in the handicap. He immediately responded with 'yeah, you can't park in the handicap with that license plate'. I explained in Indiana I can. Again he stated 'I am from Indiana and you cannot park in handicap with that license plate'. He also stated 'DAV means you are a member of Disabled American Veteran. We walked away.
It would seem that I should have had an opportunity to move my vehicle before a ticket was issued. The same amount of time it took Four Winds Security to call the police could have been used to page me and get me to move my car until I got this issue straightened out at a later date. My wife and I are pretty discipline.
However, my complaint received the thumbs down from the Pokagon Police Department. We now have to come to court. In Indiana, I am allowed to park in handicap parking spaces with DAV license plates. I have emailed Paolo (Customer Representative from DMV.ORG) She states I am allowed to park in handicap in Michigan.
My proof is Indiana and Michigan websites the procedures I went through to get the DAV license plates and DMV.ORG. Was this racially motivated? The security guy in the truck responded right off as if he knew the law. Could this have been avoided? We were only out for entertainment. Not Harassment. I wouldn't have parked in this space if I wasn't allowed.
I did go to court and the charges were dropped. Me and my wife had to take a day off work to go to court for nothing.