Officer Chase Parkey — Bogus fines
My wife, my children, and I were in Warrensburg Missouri (which is a little more than an hour from where we live in Kansas) on May 7, 2005 to attend the college graduation ceremony of a relative there. Our plans were simple; go to the graduation, hang out at the 'new graduates' apartment for a little while, then drive home. When the graduation was over, we drove to the apartment complex, parked our car, and went in. Two hours later, when we returned to our car, we found a parking citation (ticket) on our car's windshield. The ticket was written by Officer Chase Parkey (Badge Number 129) of the Warrensburg Missouri Police Department. It stated that the committed offense was "Parked in a posted no parking zone". The location was "415 Jefferson". This parking ticket is fraudulent. On the south side of Jefferson, there are at least six "No Parking" signs, evenly spaced along the entire block. On the north side of Jefferson, there are two "No Parking" signs, one at each end of the block. There are no yellow curbs on this block of Jefferson. We parked our car (a small Honda) on the north side of the street facing west at mid-block. The only "No Parking" signs within more than one hundred feet of our car were those on the south side of the street. When we first discovered the ticket, we were amazed that anyone (especially an officer of the law) would think that a ticket like this was justified, given the layout of the area and the place where we parked. Others emerging from the graduation party agreed that the ticket had questionable merit at best. The next day, I wrote a letter to the correspondence address printed on the back of the ticket. I explained the situation in detail and politely asked 'them' to reconsider the ticket. Four weeks later, I had received no reply, so I called them and inquired as to the status of my letter and my request. The lady I spoke with politely explained that she could not find any indication that they had ever received my letter. She further explained that it would probably be best if I just spoke to the officer that wrote the ticket. She took my name and number and said that Mr. Parkey would call me later that evening. He did. Up to this point, we had been of the opinion that this whole thing was just an oversight (a mistake, if you will) on the part of the officer. A cynical acquaintance of ours heard what we were dealing with and proclaimed that we had fallen into the midst of a corrupt police shakedown operation. We dismissed this notion; we tend to trust law enforcement and have taught our children that law enforcement corruption is the exception, not the rule. However, after speaking with Mr. Parkey, I am convinced that we did indeed stumble into a legitimate case of law enforcement corruption. When I spoke with Mr. Parkey, I explained the situation in detail and politely asked him to reconsider the ticket. His response was incredible. He said that on the afternoon in question, he had been dispatched to the area to investigate a complaint that had been 'phoned in by someone'; there were several cars parked on the street illegally and this 'someone' could not get into his driveway. Mr. Parkey explained that he had asked the vehicle owners he could find to move their vehicles but that he had to ticket the vehicles whose owners he could not locate. I responded by telling him that despite all of this, I still believed that our vehicle was parked legally due to the absence of any "No Parking" signs or yellow curbing in the vicinity of our car. Incredibly, he agreed! At this point, I felt I might be getting somewhere so I repeated my request that he reconsider the ticket. He refused, stating, "I stick to my guns in a case like this when I'm there because someone has called in a complaint." Stunned, I protested, "But we didn't break the law!" Unapologetically, he replied, "I understand. Take it to the judge. You probably have a case." At this point, I was so floored that I did not know what else to say so I politely excused myself from the call and hung up. I know this sounds incredible, but every bit of it is true. In fact, as I re-read what I have written above, I wonder: Who on earth would believe this? If I were reading this of someone else, I would be very skeptical. So much of this is just simply unbelievable. Why did this happen like this? When the police officer acknowledged that we had parked legally (and he did without equivocation), why would he 'stick to his guns' and refuse to reconsider the ticket? Furthermore, what law in Warrensburg Missouri allows a citizen to complain about legal activity and thereby render it illegal? This can only be the work of a corrupt police officer. I cannot fathom the whole police department being in on this. My cynical acquaintance thinks otherwise. He says, "Follow the money. They're all in this to make money. They don't care about the law. They saw your Kansas tag and figured they'd either get your fine money or the court cost money, and either way its money from Kansas coming into Missouri; it's a net gain for them." This is about to drive me mad! Am I missing something here? If anyone has any comments, please share them! I really want to understand the truth of this matter, though I am afraid I might already.