Help Me Hank! Parking Ticket Trouble
Help Me Hank: Help Me Hank! Parking Ticket Trouble
The mean streets of Manhattan, full of signs saying stop or forget about stopping.
Traffic cops trolling for scofflaws and, according to this ticket, they thought they'd nabbed one in Matthew Gray.
"I didnít do what they said I did," Gray said.
Thatís what they all say buddy. So what about this ticket you got for double parking on St. Nicholas Street in the Big Apple?
"I was definitely at work that day in Worcester," Gray said.
Again, when it comes to traffic tickets, there are a million excuses, but this student from Townsend was telling the truth.
"I knew they were the ones making the mistake," Gray said.
Here are the facts: The morning of Ďticketgate,í Matthew drove as usual to his summer job in Worcester. He entered the company garage and this computerized receipt proves that was at 11:38 a.m. The parking ticket car was double-parked in Manhattan just 45 minutes later.
"Thereís no way I could have made it to the city in that time," Gray said.
Also, Matthew's car is silver and the ticket says the offending car was green.
So while many fathers and sons bond by fishing or watching baseball, Matthew and his dad, together, battled the bogus ticket and the $115 fine.
"If you're not guilty, fight for your rights," father Dana Gray said.
Mr. Gray called the New York City Finance Department, they appealed by mail, and online, and they figured justice would be done.
"Obviously itís a mistake," Dana Gray said.
But soon after they got another notice. You're guilty it said and now you owe us $40 more.
"It was like banging your head against the wall," Dana Gray said.
They appealed again and again it was rejected. Mr. Gray had another idea.
"He said Hank helps people like this all the time so I figured that it was worth the shot," Matthew Gray said.
Seemed like Matthew was not guilty and we wondered why the big shots in the Big Apple didnít think so.
The decision said the claim is not persuasive, donít you think it is persuasive?"
Then the wheels of parking justice started to turn. The next day we got a message saying the "ticket is being dismissed."
When we called back to ask why they didn't dismiss it in the first place, our call was not returned.
As for the now-exonerated Matthew, he says if he ever does visit the Big Apple, he won't be the one behind the wheel.
"I don't know, maybe Iíll ask one of my friends to drive down," Matthew Gray said.
If you get a New York ticket for someone elseís violation, here's the key: officials recommend sending every bit of evidence you have when you first appeal. After that, it'll be too late.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)