Man Goes to Pay Parking Ticket With Pennies; Then it Got UGLY

Meanwhile, here’s another entry from the “you can’t make this stuff up” file…

SFGate.com reports that Anthony Sevy is a Royal Oak, Michigan man who had a $10 parking ticket to pay. This should have been the simplest thing in the world, but the additional dollar-seventy-five service fee he was told he’d have to cough up if he paid by credit card was apparently so outrageous to him that he decided to leave and come back with enough cash to pay the fine.

Unfortunately, in what his attorney calls an act of “symbolic protest,” this cash consisted entirely of rolls of pennies. (Say, I wonder if he had to drive far enough away to get the pennies that it cost him $1.75 or more in gas…)

The clerk at the district court wasn’t too happy about the stunt, and refused to let him pay with the pennies. And then things got ugly. Very ugly:

Sevy and a court officer appear to get in an argument before Sevy was reportedly asked to leave. On Sevy’s way out of the building, a court officer grabs him from behind and chokes him until he passes out.

That’s when Sevy defecated himself, his attorney told WJBK. Now, the Michigan man is suing the court officers.

“I don’t think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it’s a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of this assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights,” [attorney Jonathan] Marco said.

Fox 2 Detroit offers a few more details about what happened next:

City attorney David Gillam says the city has yet to be served with the lawsuit but says he is aware of the case, which was investigated by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Sevy was charged with assaulting or obstructing a police officer and disturbing the peace.

His attorney says you can plainly see from the video that his client was the victim and suffered more than just physical injuries.

“I think the more profound and long-lasting injury is the psychological injuries he’s suffering as a result of this. He’s supposed to be in a safe place,” he said.

Sevy pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace and the assault/obstruction charge was dropped.

You can watch the whole sorry spectacle for yourself right here (don’t worry, you can’t see the, er, messy part):

Okay, a couple things: first, Sevy seems like a rather petty and unpleasant sort to raise a stink over less than two dollars, and then to register his displeasure by inconveniencing an attendant who had nothing to do with giving him the ticket (for what infraction, we don’t know) in the first place. I can definitely see this guy mouthing off to the officers, and would prefer to know what exactly he said before passing final judgment on this case.

That said, it’s hard to imagine anything he might have said, sort of some threat of violence, that would legitimately provoke manhandling him. And it’s definitely suspicious that they waited until the guard were in the entrance vestibule to strike.

Truth really is stranger than fiction, folks…