Civilian Law Enforcement

My adventures in civilian law enforcement continue, with a sub-theme of little old men.

I am probably a terrible person; I called the cops today on a little old crippled man with Honorably Discharged Veteran’s license plates. But I didn’t see the little old man before I called the cops; he was parked in a permit spot with no sign of a permit.

Last week I staged a magnificent fit at Starbuck’s. I frequently go to a restaurant next door; it’s in a shopping area with really hideous parking – tight and crowded. There is exactly one curb cut in this parking lot, between two permit spaces. There are no curb cuts at the ends of the sidewalk. When I arrived, a delivery truck was straddling the two spaces and had a ramp lowered over the curb cut, rendering it inaccessible. I parked elsewhere, called the cops, wheeled through the parking lot and out onto the main roadway (Pearl Street, just west of 28th, if you know Boulder) in order to get onto the sidewalk. By the time I got back to the truck, a man was trundling some display cases off it. I had a few choice words for him, and he responded by ignoring me.

I went into Starbuck’s and over the long line of people hollered for the manager. She admitted it was their truck, and apologised. I told her I didn’t want her to apologise, I wanted her to do something about it. She and I went out to the truck, and she tried to to talk to the guy, who ignored her, too, until he turned around and said, “Why you hassling me? Go hassle the boss.”

Turns out the boss is standing in Starbuck’s, filling out paperwork. We go back in. He’d like to ignore me, too. “Look,” I said, “there are dozens of places to park illegally in this parking lot – you don’t have to block THE ONLY CURBCUT.” He muttered something about “those people” and got away before the cops came.

And Starbuck’s didn’t even comp me a latte. A bunch of customers told me they supported me, though.



  1. Mortaine

    You rock. We ALL need to stand up for curb cuts and access.

    On Sunday I was at a park with really full parking lots, and was so happy to see the cops come down and ticket a very healthy teenaged girl for parking in the disabled spot.

    I also yell at the cafe when their vendor’s delivery truck parks in the red zone, blocking visibility and most of the street (basically making it so you have to swerve into oncoming traffic to get around the truck, while blocking all vis. of said traffic at the same time).

  2. mdmhvonpa

    I’m sorry this happend to you. Really. If only I had been there! I would have dropped trow and laid a big pile of stink on the floor. Let them explain that the health department! Probably not though … tough talker eh? More likely, I would have put the ramp up and then demand that the guy call the cops on me.

  3. Patricia Tryon

    Which Starbucks?

  4. Katja

    Boulder, 28th and Pearl. But remember, the manager did come out and holler at the truck guy.

  5. Patricia Tryon

    Yeah. And the trucker went on to the next place with no reason at all not to keep doing what he was doing, because the hassle doesn’t bother him as much as parking less “conveniently”.

  6. Rayna

    What IS it about these delivery guys? I’m having flashbacks to the million times this has happened to me (scooter user long distance – quadcane inside), and EVERY time they say “well there was nowhere else to park”. Arrrrrg! I DON’T FLIPPING CARE! The thing that gets me is when this happens within five minutes (on the same footpath) of me negotiating around at least one – if not two – cars parked blocking the footpath. How would they all like it if we w/chair/scooter users went and plonked ourselves randomly on the road so they couldn’t get past? (Shall stop now – starting to rant…) Much admiration to you for getting stuck into the culprits so often – I run out of energy for it.

  7. Drew

    Dude, that’s not enforcing anything. That’s called being a jerk. The man had a job to do and you decided, for no other reason than your own wasted twenty seconds of looking for a place to park, to harass an elderly person trying to get through his day. There was no call at all for you to even address the person moving items into store, he was ensuring that you could HAVE that latte you so desperately crave! A short mention of it to the manager would have been acceptable, but to make a public spectacle of yourself is ridiculous and laughable.

  8. Katja

    Drew – sorry, I disagree. The man could have done his job without illegally obstructing the only two permit parking spaces and the only safe access to the curb for far more than 20 seconds. My state of desperation and whether it was for a latte or prescription medicine or a newspaper or to get into my house are irrelevant.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *