Woman slaps 70-year-old volunteer after receiving parking ticket, deputies say

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - A woman was arrested and is accused of assaulting a parking enforcement volunteer after she received a citation for parking in a handicapped spot in west Houston, according to Constable Ted Heap's office.

Deputies said 18-year-old Jade Williams was cited for parking in the designated spot at the Five Guys restaurant in the 11700 block of Westheimer Road on Tuesday around 2:30 p.m.

Williams and two other people got in an argument with 70-year-old David Hensen, who works with the Houston Parking Enforcement Division.

"They surrounded me and pushed me up against their SUV," Hensen said.

Deputies said Williams was angry about receiving the ticket.

As the confrontation escalated, Williams slapped Hensen in the face, deputies said.

"She was walking around saying, 'Come on, let's fight,' and I kept retreating all the way back to my truck. When I got to my truck, she, with an open hand, slapped my face, and that’s when I called 911," Hensen said.

Williams was arrested at the scene and was charged with assault.

Hensen was left with scratches and a sprained knee but said he’ll be back on the job soon.

"I may be down for a couple of days," he said.

Here is a statement from the city of Houston:

"We are very upset to hear about this incident and have reached out to Mr. Hansen to express our concern for his safety and well-being. Mr. Hansen is one of more than 400 volunteers the city of Houston has trained as part of the Volunteer Parking Enforcement Program.

"In 1995, the state authorized the city to empower citizens to issue parking citations when they witnessed the abuse of disabled parking spaces. Volunteers serve a vital function because they work to limit the abuse of disabled parking spaces in their neighborhoods. Volunteers protect the parking rights of the disabled community by issuing about 4,000 disabled parking violations every year.

"Each volunteer is required to undergo four hours of training on the proper procedures for issuing a citation for illegally parking in a disabled parking space, personal safety and how to interact with the public. Upon completion of the training, they receive a volunteer badge, baseball cap, and optional safety vest that identify them as a city of Houston volunteer. ParkHouston requires volunteers to attend refresher training every three years. With the generous help of citizen volunteers, ParkHouston is better able to ensure parking space availability to those who need it most."

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