Wha?! City paints handicap spot around parked car

NEED TO KNOW
  • Space turns into a handicap spot while car is parked there
  • Driver: "I couldn’t believe my eyes" -- but city didn't believe her
  • ...until she found video of it happening
Wha?! City paints handicap spot around parked car

Stop complaining about "the government." No more stories of woe about how The Man has done you wrong. Save your gripes.

Hila Ben Baruch has got you beat. She has all of us beat, with the Mother Of All Civic Outrages -- and she has the video to prove it.

After Ben Baruch legally parked her car on a Tel Aviv street and walked away, city workers painted around the car to designate a handicap spot -- and then towed her car away.

On her Facebook page, Ben Baruch wrote that when she returned later to her car, "the big surprise that awaited me broke all the records and I couldn’t believe my eyes – my car was not in the space I parked it in and in its place was a parking space for the disabled.”

I imagine there are easier ways for a city to make a shady buck, but let's award extra points here for these workers' creativity and the ingenuity they showed in their shenanigans -- or, as an apologetic Yiddish-embracing city official put it, their "schlemielism".

While we're at it: 13 Yiddish words for Christmas!

In fact, the story is so unbelievable, a municipal hotline employee found it just that: unbelievable. Ben Baruch called to insist the spot was not designated handicap when she parked there and was furious about the $366 she now owed the city. But, she said in a Facebook post, the person on the other end "said I was lying, that he did not believe me."

Lucky then for Hila (and for all of us) that a security camera across the street recorded the whole thing. You can watch it below and see how her once-legal parking job turned to an illegal one in a matter of minutes.

Unfortunately, the video ends before the student returned to find her car missing, replaced instead by a wet paint white rectangle and handicap logo. Though we imagine her reaction looked something like this expression she made while being interviewed this week on Israeli TV.

She posted the video on her Facebook page with a long message, which included the invitation, "Citizens, residents and dear friends - click Play. Just to see and believe. Cry or laugh."

It didn't take long for the video to start making the rounds, and it eventually found its way to Tel Aviv officials. In a statement, they said "This was a severe mistake and a case of incompetence that the city of Tel Aviv does not accept... We apologize for the distress and will examine our conduct for the future, so that these kinds of things won't happen again." They also rescinded Ben Baruch's fine and vehicle recovery costs.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the city points out that three days earlier a sign was posted near the spot stating it would be turned into a handicap space. However, "the contractor who arrived at the scene marked it as a handicapped spot, but, contrary to procedure did not notify the city inspection department."

And didn't wait for the car that was parked there to move before beginning, either.

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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