Peeved by Parking Tickets, Driver Has a Smashing Idea

Times Staff Writer

Fed up with the parking tickets he had been getting lately, Marcus Vaughter walked into the Santa Monica Police Station early Tuesday and announced that he had used a brick to smash the windshields of four parking-enforcement motor scooters parked outside, authorities said.

Officers thanked Vaughter for his honesty and promptly placed him under arrest.

Police Lt. Tom Mapes said Santa Monica police headquarters was quiet at 1:45 a.m. when Vaughter, who lives in Hollywood, walked up to the front desk and told officers he had just smashed the windshields of the scooters because he was angry about parking tickets he had been given in Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

After rushing outside to see his handiwork, officers arrested Vaughter, 25, on suspicion of malicious mischief, a misdemeanor. He was released after posting $500 bail.

Vaughter said he discovered a $28 citation--for parking in a street-cleaning zone--on his car after getting out of work at the Mayfair Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard.

"It really put me off," he said. "I'm not a violent person, but I have no other way to communicate with these people. I've written a lot of letters to the city about doing something about the parking.

"I've written to (Los Angeles Mayor) Tom Bradley, but there's been no reply. These $28 parking tickets are just too much."

An estimated 250,000 parking tickets are issued each year in Santa Monica and some irate motorists have been known to flatten a police tire or two, Mapes said. But no one, he said, had ever assaulted a parking-enforcement scooter.

"I guess he wanted to make a statement," the lieutenant said.

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