If we hadn’t seen the footage, we would never have believed that Tel Aviv’s municipal workers would paint a fake handicap sign around a woman’s parked car in order to collect on the illegal parking and towing fines they then levied. Even worse, they believed they would get away with it.
Unluckily for them, they picked on the wrong woman. Hila Ben-Baruch has been using the same parking spot on Yehuda Halevi street for well over a year, so on the day in question, when municipal workers eventually had her vehicle towed and charged her over $350 for the privilege, she got herself some evidence, The Jerusalem Post reports. See below for the video.
Ben-Baruch told the paper she was astounded to come out on a Sunday evening to find her car, which she had parked in a legal blue spot earlier that day, gone!
Even more shocking was the city’s insistence that she pay a total of $350 for parking in a handicap spot and for the towing fees.
This story shares socio-psychological elements of Clint Eastwood’s movie Changeling starring Angelina Jolie, whose character’s son goes missing.
After reporting his disappearance to the police, she is presented with another boy. When she insists that the new boy doesn’t belong to her, she is treated like a delusional madwoman. Incidentally, the movie was based on a true story that took place in Los Angeles in 1920.
In present day Tel Aviv, that’s 2013, the victim was 100 percent certain that she had parked in a valid spot and proceeded to search for evidence to support her claim.
She managed to unearth a surveillance camera from across the street which first shows city workers nonchalantly creating a new handicap space around Ben-Baruch’s vehicle and then a tow truck appears to cart her vehicle away.
Armed with this tape, Ben-Baruch was able to escape the fine and elicit a soft apology from officials, but some Jerusalem Post readers felt that the city had not done enough to compensate her for the trouble she endured when her car was impounded.
Even more worrisome, another reader claims this kind of thing happens all the time. Sounds like another compelling reason to join 14 percent of urbanites who have chosen two wheels over four.