August 10, 2009

Man towed after sign moved

A New York man said he was hit with a $95 ticket and a $185 tow fee after he parked and a city crew later moved a diplomat-only parking sign to his space.

Shavit Mekeiten said he parked his car on East 41st Street near Second Avenue at 3:30 a.m. Thursday and saw no signs indicating that his car could not remain in the spot until Friday, the New York Post reported Monday.

However, six hours after Mekeiten parked, a Department of Transportation crew arrived on the scene and moved a sign stating the spot was for diplomats only from the rear of the car to the front of the vehicle. The car was quickly towed, despite protests from residents who had seen the signs put in place after the car had been parked, the New York Post reported Monday.

The sign was apparently moved to ad extra parking to the New Zealand Consulate, the Post said.

They don't care anymore. They just have to tow a certain number of cars per driver, and they do it at any cost, Mekeiten said. They didn't put up any signs saying they would change the rules.

Mekeiten said he plans to fight the ticket and towing fee, but he conceded the legal battle would likely cost him additional time and money.

They treated me like I shot someone. This is really, really unfair. I didn't do anything wrong, he said.

City officials admitted to moving the signs and the police department had no comment on the matter.