Lest one think that failing to pay a parking ticket is not a serious issue, they should take a lesson from 82 year old Moshe Guterman of Jerusalem.
Police came to his home last week, and hauled the grandfather of 40 – and great-grandfather of 13 – to the police station, where he found himself arrested and detained for 12 hours – all because of an NIS 1,500 parking ticket he had failed to pay, Guterman told Yediot Achronot.
When police came to his door, they gave him an opportunity to pay, but Guterman explained that he had no cash available, as he was ill and had spent all his available funds on medicine.
“They took me to the police station, where a doctor examined me and found that I had high blood pressure,” he said. “Then they sent me to a hospital where I was examined to see if I was healthy enough to go to prison. They found that I was, so they put me in the lockup.
“Altogether I was in police custody for twelve hours, without my medications, without food. I was completely ignored,” Guterman said. “Is this the proper procedure for an old man who has not paid a parking ticket?”
Police said that they had no choice but to arrest him. “The individual was arrested because a warrant had been issued by a local court,” Jerusalem police said in a statement. “We sought alternatives to arresting this individual.”
In its response, the Jerusalem Municipality said that instead of paying the ticket, Guterman “requested a hearing on the ticket, and failed to show up for hearings on seven different occasions. As a result the court issued a warrant for his arrest. The individual never sought to work out a payment plan with the municipality. If he does, we will certainly take his age and situation into account.”