This would be a Wordless Wednesday post, except that the story is in a newspaper clipping.
My mother, Doris Sabo, was arrested in March 1979 for non-payment of a parking ticket. The story made the newspapers, from New Jersey all the way to the Boston Globe because the car and the parking ticket weren’t hers and the ticket was issued in a town she had never even been in.
The story would be funny if not for the fact that she was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Boston Globe picked up the story. Her mother and sisters lived outside of Boston and read the Globe every day. Imagine their shock when they turned the page of the 4 March 1979 morning’s paper and read this:
Woman Who Says Parking Ticket Not Hers Is Summoned to Court
CLIFFSIDE PARK, NJ: Doris Sabo has been fined, hauled to a police station and summoned to court because police ticketed a car she said she does not own.
The car had been parked illegally in a city Sabo said she had never been to.
Her bureaucratic battle began six months ago when she received a summons for an unpaid $10 parking ticket on a gold-colored Pontiac.
The summons carried her proper auto registration number, but Sabo said she owns a red Pinto. “I don’t even know where Cliffside Park is,” she said.
She has refused to pay the $10 fine and has sought help from the courts, the state Division of Motor Vehicles and others.
Immediately after receiving the summons, Sabo called the state. She claims a clerk told her the ticket was a mistake and the division would take care of the matter. But Dec. 21 she received another summons.
“I was flabbergasted and called the court clerk,” Sabo said. “I explained it wasn’t my car and the Division of Motor Vehicles confirmed that.
The clerk told me it didn’t make any difference. My car or not, the ticket was mine.”
Despite that warning, Mrs. Sabo ignored the matter. Two weeks ago, there was a knock at her door.
“It was the Haledon police,” she said. “They said Cliffside Park had sent them an arrest warrant. They said I would have to come to the station with them and post $25 bail. I didn’t have more than $16 cash.”
She said she asked if they would take a check and they said no.
“The worst part was I had to call my boss at home and have him come down and bail me out. Can you imagine the embarrassment?”
Sabo must appear before Judge Paul Basile in Cliffside Municipal Court March 14.
Mom went to court and the charge was dismissed, but no one – not the court nor the police – ever apologized for arresting the wrong person!