City Paper is not for tourists
“Boot Camp” (2/20) was a fine piece on the working life of the men who attach the ubiquitous boot to cars parked in the nation’s capital. Their work is difficult, and they perform it efficiently. When my car was booted unfairly, I didn’t blame these employees, who were simply following orders. But in my case, I certainly was no scofflaw.
One day while living in Adams Morgan, I went to my car to drive to the airport to pick up my aunt who was visiting from Michigan. Lo and behold, I found a boot attached to my left front wheel. I was surprised, because I had always paid my occasional tickets promptly, and my record was clean as a whistle. The three tickets that I had supposedly incurred were in a part of D.C. I never visited. When I contested the tickets, the judge was surprised that I had been ticketed not by the Department of Public Works but by the Metropolitan Police Department itself and that no representative of MPD was in court. Therefore, he gave me back the money I had paid to get the boot off my car. But I was not compensated for being without my car for several days and for having to take half a day off to report to court.
Why was I booted? In the apartment below me lived a uniformed member of MPD who regularly had a fight with his girlfriend, who also worked for MPD. (At least, I saw her leave for work every morning in a police car.) I heard her scream, “You are beating me up, and we ain’t even married!” When I complained to the landlady about the noise, she graciously informed the pair. Shortly thereafter there appeared a boot on my car. Therefore, if you see a boot on a car, don’t automatically assume that a scofflaw is being punished.
Silver Hill, Md.