Construction worker uses power tools to cut parking boot off car - CBS46 News

Construction worker uses power tools to cut parking boot off car

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Construction is booming in Buckhead, and all those workers need a place to park while they're on the job.

Paul Coggin is part of the crew putting up a building at the corner of Irby Avenue and Early Street. Every day, he uses the Park Mobile app to pay for his space across the street, and 99 percent of the time there's no problems.

But on the one day he changed his routine and drove a different car, he forgot to change the license plate saved in his phone. He tried to explain it to the parking lot attendant, but he says she was unforgiving, and the people at Castle Parking Solutions wouldn't listen to reason.

CBS46 tried to contact the company, but they have no working phone numbers listed.

We checked with the Better Business Bureau and it turns out they have an 'F' rating for getting 133 complaints and zero positive reviews.

Coggin called police for help, but the officer told him there was nothing he could do because parking boots are a civil matter.

Taking those words to heart, Coggin assumed it worked both ways.

If police couldn't help him, he figured they couldn't help the parking lot people either, so he may as well grab his power tools and cut the boot off himself, saying, "When they sue me and take me to court, then I'll fight my battle then."

Moments later, police came back and told Coggin he was criminally damaging property. Coggin explained how the officer said, "I have to do something. I'm supposed to be arresting you, but I will be giving you a ticket."

The officer gave him a disorderly conduct citation, but at a hearing in mid-October, Coggin showed the court his proof of payment for the parking and the charge for the damage was dismissed.

Coggin may have won that battle, but he still had to pay $70 to get the boot off.

Based on what happened here, the power appears to be slanted in favor of the booters.

If a car owner feels like they're being treated unfairly, they have to fight the matter in court. Meanwhile, the booter gets their payment up front and anyone trying to challenge them at the scene risks arrest.

So the question for Atlanta officials: what would stop a business from hypothetically booting every person in their lot, regardless of whether all the cars are parked illegally or not?

Is there any recourse besides maybe getting the payment reversed at a later date?

We're waiting for a response from the city to that question.

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