Police are cracking down on those who park in handicap spaces downtown especially during the summer months.
Thursday morning police arrested 34-year-old Judith Beal at the Garland City Lot off Pine Street. Beal was arrested for parking in handicap spot and after processing the handicap placard in her car it came back as being registered to someone who is 85-years-old and who died in April.
Police are increasing their patrol of the parking garages and lots in downtown Orlando because so many people are using handicap tags to park up close to bars and restaurants and then return to their cars in the early morning hours. Beal was arrested just before 3 A.M. on Thursday.
Although, it is illegal across the state to park in those spots without a placard, Orlando police can each decide if the person can be either ticketed or arrested.
“I think arresting someone for that is a little extreme. I think there are bigger worries that we have than someone using a handicapped parking spot that’s not theirs,” said Orlando resident Carla Gabaldon.
However, not everyone agrees with Carla.
Freddy Reyes, a Port St. Lucie resident disagrees. “It’s sad cause they wanted to come and park there and they can’t because someone else is partying or going to a restaurant? Go to jail. Sorry!”
Other people said they people should get a second chance when it comes to non-violent crimes like this.
“I don’t feel that it should be at the officer’s discretion as to whether or not they decide “oh, I’m having a good day – I don’t really want to give you a ticket!’” said Orlando resident Jessica Emerson.
Last summer police arrested at least 10 people for parking in handicap spaces without valid parking tags.