Tammy Mutasa, Mesquite Journalist
A Precinct One constable car was photographed in handicap parking in front of Panera Bread in Mesquite without a placard.
A Dallas County Constable's car was photographed parked in a handicapped parking space in front of Panera Bread in Mesquite.
It was photographed by John Heintschel, a partially disabled veteran, during lunch Monday.
"I noticed a constable's car was parked in the reserved handicap spot,” said Heintschel. “And I didn't notice a placard, I didn't notice an emergency going on."
That’s when he snapped the photo—a constable car with no placard--parked in handicap parking. Heintschel said he was upset because the parking lot was full and other disabled people may have needed the parking space.
"It's frustrating,” said Heintschel. “There are some days when people just need to park in a handicap spot, and when that spot is taken, it's painful for a lot of people, sometimes myself, to actually walk."
After a bit of tracking, we learned that the constable car in the photograph belonged to the Precinct One office in Dallas.
We visited the precinct’s office, but they said they had no comment and were investigating the incident.
According to Mesquite officials, it costs $597.10, with court fees, to pay for a handicap parking violation. For residents, everyone should pay—even if they are the law.
"If your job is to uphold the law, then you should abide by the rules that you enforce and you don't deserve any special treatment,” said Neisha Roberts.
Ashley Tarrant, who has a handicapped daughter, said even she felt bad using her handicapped placard.
"I have a handicapped daughter and I hardly ever use her handicap placard because I feel that there are more citizens who are more handicapped than my daughter,” said Tarrant. “So for a constable car to be parked there, I don't feel that that's right."
This isn’t the only controversy facing the Dallas County Constables. Precinct One Constable Derrick Evans has been indicted for election campaign law violations. He goes to trial Nov. 28.