Author Topic: The case of the missing Lexus  (Read 3849 times)

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DCGirl

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The case of the missing Lexus
« on: September 20, 2010, 05:13:13 PM »
The big water cooler topic at my office today is a story in the Washington Post.  In a nutshell, on Saturday night the Secret Service towed cars parked on the street near the Washington Convention Center as a security precaution because the President was attending an event there.  Here in DC we will occasionally be affected like this; on Friday, I had to wait 15 minutes to get into Union Station to buy lunch until a presidential motorcade went by.

Usually, when this happens, they're towed somewhere within a few blocks and are findable.  One woman is still looking for her car, which was parked in a handicapped spot near the Convention Center, and the police and Secret Service don't seem to know where her car was towed to.  The article references the fact that the "owner" of the handicapped parking permit which allowed the woman to park in the handicapped space was issued to her husband, who was not with her at the event.   To put it mildly, she's getting her derriere handed to her in the comments to the article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/19/AR2010091905134.html?hpid=dynamiclead

Karma?  Poetic justice?  or bungling on the part of the Secret Service/tow company?

immadz

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 06:02:26 PM »
The big water cooler topic at my office today is a story in the Washington Post.  In a nutshell, on Saturday night the Secret Service towed cars parked on the street near the Washington Convention Center as a security precaution because the President was attending an event there.  Here in DC we will occasionally be affected like this; on Friday, I had to wait 15 minutes to get into Union Station to buy lunch until a presidential motorcade went by.

Usually, when this happens, they're towed somewhere within a few blocks and are findable.  One woman is still looking for her car, which was parked in a handicapped spot near the Convention Center, and the police and Secret Service don't seem to know where her car was towed to.  The article references the fact that the "owner" of the handicapped parking permit which allowed the woman to park in the handicapped space was issued to her husband, who was not with her at the event.   To put it mildly, she's getting her derriere handed to her in the comments to the article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/19/AR2010091905134.html?hpid=dynamiclead

Karma?  Poetic justice?  or bungling on the part of the Secret Service/tow company?

All three!


Bramble

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 08:15:05 PM »
Maybe it was updated later, but on page 2 of the linked article it mentions that she eventually found her car, half a block from the convention center.

lady_disdain

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 08:52:20 PM »
2 wrongs don't make a right: both the driver and the Secret Service are wrong. For the driver, the appropriate punishment is a fine and (maybe) revogation of the permit. For the Secret Service, amends (paying for a rental until the car is found, for example) and internal procedures to check what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.

immadz

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 09:09:37 PM »
2 wrongs don't make a right: both the driver and the Secret Service are wrong. For the driver, the appropriate punishment is a fine and (maybe) revogation of the permit. For the Secret Service, amends (paying for a rental until the car is found, for example) and internal procedures to check what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.

Also, just to point out it wasn't the secret service who actually towed the car, it was the police.


DCGirl

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 09:57:38 PM »
Maybe it was updated later, but on page 2 of the linked article it mentions that she eventually found her car, half a block from the convention center.

It must have been updated later.  They usually don't take the cars very far when they tow them like that. 

Winterlight

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 10:38:54 AM »
I don't feel sorry for her- she used a handicapped spot illegally.
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Elfqueen13

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 10:41:32 AM »
I don't feel sorry for her- she used a handicapped spot illegally.

I don't either but I do wonder what would happen if a legitimately handicapped person had been impacted by this?  Handicapped spaces are (generally) for people with mobility issues.  Even a half-block extra could be a problem, not to mention all the running around trying to find the car in the first place.  Maybe it's time to rethink the process.
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DCGirl

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 12:19:07 PM »
I don't feel sorry for her- she used a handicapped spot illegally.

I don't either but I do wonder what would happen if a legitimately handicapped person had been impacted by this?  Handicapped spaces are (generally) for people with mobility issues.  Even a half-block extra could be a problem, not to mention all the running around trying to find the car in the first place.  Maybe it's time to rethink the process.

Someone posted in comments that the authorities should post temporary no-parking signs when they need to block off streets for the president.  That way people wouldn't park there in the first place.

The convention center is pretty clear on its website that they don't have parking in the building and they push taking public transportation to the venue whenever possible (there's a station with an entrance that's a few feet from one of the convention center's entrances).

« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 02:01:31 PM by DCGirl »

Elfqueen13

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 01:58:42 PM »
I don't feel sorry for her- she used a handicapped spot illegally.

I don't either but I do wonder what would happen if a legitimately handicapped person had been impacted by this?  Handicapped spaces are (generally) for people with mobility issues.  Even a half-block extra could be a problem, not to mention all the running around trying to find the car in the first place.  Maybe it's time to rethink the process.

Someone posted in comments that the authorities should post temporary no-parking signs when they need to block off streets for the president.  That way people wouldn't par there in the first place.

The convention center is pretty clear on its website that they don't have parking in the building and they push taking public transportation to the venue whenever possible (there's a station with an entrance that's a few feet from one of the convention center's entrances).

No parking in the first place would seem a lot more logical than towing cars. Not everyone is comfortable with public transportation. Many problems related to the feet and legs, for example, could leave a person able to drive but reluctant to navigate the DC Metro with it's steep escalators and knobby floors.

I get Presidential Security and all, but relocating someone's car without warning or notice seems extreme.  If they know the President is coming, block off parking.  If he's there without warning, well, it's unlikely anyone set a car bomb on the off chance that the President would happen to come by unannounced, is it?
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ShadesOfGrey

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 02:13:45 PM »
So if an actual handicapped person was using the placard, would it still have been towed?  


Was there any warning about the towing?  The fact that she checked with a police officer, and was told the spot was legal, in indicative of the fact that the towing was spur-of-the-moment.  So, it stinks, but I'm not sure why she should be treated any differently than anyone else who was towed? Are handicapped spaces treated differently?

Color me confused, lol.  ???

But yes, it was bungled by the SS/Police.  No tracking of where the car was taken? Using civilians that dont keep track of the towing? Hmmm...Sounds very inefficient to me~!

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DCGirl

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 02:21:03 PM »
So if an actual handicapped person was using the placard, would it still have been towed? 

And, how long did it take her to find the car?

Was there any warning about the towing?  The fact that she checked with a police officer, and was told the spot was legal, in indicative of the fact that the towing was spur-of-the-moment.  So, it stinks, but I'm not sure why she should be treated any differently than anyone else who was towed? Are handicapped spaces treated differently?

Color me confused, lol.  ???



She did find her car the next day, after spending the night in a hotel near the convention center. 

The Convention Center takes up three city blocks.  It sounds like the authorities towed all cars that were parked on the street around those three blocks, handicapped or not, because they were on the perimeter of the building.

It's possible that the police officer she asked didn't know about the potential towing when he told her it was ok to park there if it was a last-minute decision.  The Secret Service tends not to "advertise" anything relating to the President's movement, so I'm not sure they would have posted temporary no-parking signs if they thought that would call more attention to the fact that a dignitary would be in the building.  Background:  the Washington newspapers used to publish the President's schedule every day, releated to them by the White House.  That's how John Hinkley knew where President Reagan would be and was waiting to shoot him. 

Carnation

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2010, 10:36:27 AM »
We drove off with my mother's handicapped tag enough times that she obtained one for us to keep in our car, for when we take her somewhere.   We live out of state and were constantly mailing it back to her.

This comes up in conversation every single time we can't find a parking spot. "Hey!  We'll use Grandma's tag!"  Then, we all have a good laugh. :D

Seriously, not only would it take a spot someone needs, but my mom could have her tag revoked and we'd have to pay a fine.

You

just

don't

do

that

ever.

She reminds me of a local guy whose van was towed with his son's wheelchair in it.   Instead of thinking, hey, I can't park here, lest my van get towed.  He was thinking wheelchair = immunity.

JenJay

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2010, 11:09:30 AM »
The big water cooler topic at my office today is a story in the Washington Post.  In a nutshell, on Saturday night the Secret Service towed cars parked on the street near the Washington Convention Center as a security precaution because the President was attending an event there.  Here in DC we will occasionally be affected like this; on Friday, I had to wait 15 minutes to get into Union Station to buy lunch until a presidential motorcade went by.

Usually, when this happens, they're towed somewhere within a few blocks and are findable.  One woman is still looking for her car, which was parked in a handicapped spot near the Convention Center, and the police and Secret Service don't seem to know where her car was towed to.  The article references the fact that the "owner" of the handicapped parking permit which allowed the woman to park in the handicapped space was issued to her husband, who was not with her at the event.   To put it mildly, she's getting her derriere handed to her in the comments to the article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/19/AR2010091905134.html?hpid=dynamiclead

Karma?  Poetic justice?  or bungling on the part of the Secret Service/tow company?

All three!

I agree! The fact that she was using the permit inappropriately (illegally?) removes whatever sympathy I had for her initially, but the fact is the police didn't know that when they towed her. I don't think they ought to have done that. What if she'd been handicapped and had to navigate her way around a few city blocks to find her car? No, no, no! I don't see why they can't either locate the driver and arrange transportation to their car or post a SS officer at the vehicle to ensure the driver means no harm to the President.

flowersintheattic

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Re: The case of the missing Lexus
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 02:16:58 PM »
I was a little irritated that she decided not to inform the police that she had found the car. I understand that she had to spend $165 on a hotel room for the night, and was inconvenienced, but to keep the police looking for a car that's already been found is, IMO, unnecessary and rude.

It seems that she acted a little SS-y when she used the handicapped spot (although I do give her props for checking with the police officer to see if it was okay). It's also clear that the towing could be handled better than it is (or at least was in this situation). However, it seems like it was an honest mistake on the part of police. If all the cars in a three block radius are being towed, it's possible that a few are going to slip through the cracks.

(I also didn't see the point of constantly bringing up that it was a Lexus in the article, or mentioning that she took off her diamond pendant and left it on the console. It seemed like we were supposed to think that the situation would have been okay if this had been a 1990 Geo Metro.)
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