BAYTOWN, Texas - A Baytown teenager turned the tables on a police officer when she wrote him a ticket.
Annie James, 14, lives at the Bay Oaks Apartment complex. She got upset when she spotted a patrol car parked on a curb that was painted red and was designated as a "no parking" zone.
"He was parked on the side of the building," James said. "It said it was a fire lane all the way around."
Officer Tommy King, with the Baytown Police Department, patrols the apartment complex and keeps the criminals away. On this particular day, he parked his car next to the leasing office.
"I came to get my car and I saw a piece of paper on my windshield," King said. "I took it off, read it and started laughing."
James told King in her note that he was in violation for parking in a fire lane, parking on a curb and for backing into the spot.
The apartment complex requires all residents to pull "head first" into spots when parking, a rule that is clearly stated all over the property.
James asked the officer to pay a $10 fine to the manager.
"I thought it was neat that she made it for $10 but she didn't make it to herself," said King.
At that moment he decided he was going to pay up, but in a better way. He bought James a $20 gift card to Toys "R" Us. The store matched his contribution and put in $20, too.
"He gave me a $40 gift card to Toys 'R' Us," James said. "I was excited, really excited."
James told Local 2 she has never been to Toys "R" Us before. She just moved to Baytown one month ago with her dad and older brother.
"Turns out we're both from Alabama," said King. "And we ended up in Texas. We talked and now I have a new friend."
James said she was only kidding when she wrote King the note but King appreciated her humor and said there's a lot to be learned from this.
"I would say the lesson is not to be afraid of law enforcement, we're here to help," he said. "From the officer's side of things, we learn not to take ourselves so seriously. There's a lot of responsibility and power that comes with a badge but every once in a while we can step back and say, 'You know what, a lot of these people we're protecting, not everyone is a bad guy.'"
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