familiar blue, handicapped-only signs in front of the most coveted
parking spaces near the entrances of buildings, restaurants and bars
warn violators that their cars could be towed and they could be fined up
What the signs don't say is that drivers could be arrested.
Ashley Hickey, 24, of Altamonte Springs,
learned this late Tuesday night when she was arrested on charges of
fraudulently using a handicap permit to park in a lot on Garland Avenue
in Downtown Orlando.
The parking lot at 26 South Garland Avenue has a history of parking violations, Hickey's arrest report says.
to the report, a police officer saw Hickey's black 2007 two-door BMW in
the handicap space in the parking lot near the downtown bar district.
He scanned the parking decal and determined that the owner of the decal
A tow truck came to remove the car just as Hickey was
walking back. Police say she took off running toward the car and told
police she parked in the space because she was picking up her mother and
grandmother, the owner of the decal.
When the officer told her he
already scanned the decal and determined the owner was not alive, she
first said she must have grabbed the wrong permit and that she was
picking up her living grandmother.
She later changed her story and admitted that she was only picking up her mother who had asthma but did not have a permit to park in handicap spaces.
Hickey was arrested and granted $250 bail.
Her car was towed. Inside police found a loaded handgun in a holster in Hickey's glove compartment and a radar detector.
gun was also legal and the report said police confiscated it for
safekeeping but Hickey can pick it up with proper identification.
charge for illegally using a handicap decal is a misdemeanor and is
punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.