HOUSTON - A city Parking Enforcement Officer was fired Tuesday after an altercation with a man who photographed him behind the wheel of a city car illegally parked in a handicapped parking space.
City administrators have not released the former officer's name.
He parked his car in the handicapped space Saturday while he checked meters in the 1300 block of Clay Street.
Brian Moya spotted the city car as he was driving by. Moya said he felt he had to confront the man because both of his parents are disabled.
"It's very hard for these people to actually find parking spots because people are abusing the privilege of parking in the handicapped spot," Moya said. "He should get the maximum fine of $500."Moya said.
Moya was rolling video on his cell phone as he approached the car berating the meter reader, who was sitting in his car.
As Moya moved to the driver's side window, the parking officer can be heard on the recording saying, "F*** you." He then backed the marked, city of Houston car out of the spot and drove off.
Moya posted the video on YouTube and called the City Parking Management Department to complain.
City of Houston Deputy Administrator Chris Newport told Local 2 News, "We just don't tolerate that kind of behavior," said
Newport says the parking officer was a new employee, still on probation at the time of the incident. He was fired when he returned to work on Tuesday.
"It's clearly inappropriate action by a city employee, outside of every bound that we have for appropriate behavior for employee," Newport said.
Moya said he's not bothered that the incident cost the man his job.
"I don't feel bad at all. He's in the handicapped spot which is illegal. If he gets terminated over that, that's good enough for me."
In fact Moya said he felt the punishment didn't go far enough. He believes the former officer should be forced to pay the $500 fine levied for illegally parking in a handicapped space.
The city has also asked Brian Moya to become a volunteer parking enforcement officer. Under a program that began a few years ago, volunteers are empowered to issue tickets to scofflaws who park in handicapped spaces.
City officials asked Moya to become a Volunteer Parking Enforcement Officer. The city offers training for volunteers to be empowered to write tickets for handicapped parking scofflaws as part of a program begun in 2008. Moya says he's not interested.
"I would never do that. I do not want to go around writing tickets to nobody. I just wanted to make sure and follow up with the city and make sure they're following proper procedures," said Moya.
So far this year, police and volunteers have issued more than 3,000 citations to motorists illegally parked in handicapped spaces. In the same period in 2012, the city issued more than 12,000 citations.
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