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Website offers database for handicapped parking fraud

Assistant News Editor

Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:09

Houstonian Online

Stephen Green | The Houstonian

Though you may not realize it, parking lots throughout America's heartland are plagued by a seedy underclass of scofflaws. Their ethos consumed by cavalier disregard for public order. Natural human empathy's emotive role usurped by a perverse contempt for the unfortunate. The sadistic raison d'être forthese anarchical degenerates? Handicapped parking fraud.

Texas has done its part in buttressing the social contract and preserving some semblance of propriety by outlawing the misappropriation of disabled parking zones and placards, punishable by fines of up to $1,250 and as many as 50 hours of community service. Though in line with similar laws in the 49 other states, the statutes are rendered impotent through lackluster enforcement.

Aiming to shift the paradigm back to a law and order based society, the website HandicappedFraud.org offers visitors a user-generated database of handicapped hoaxers and the dubiously disabled which can be sorted by both time and location. The site's founder, who was unresponsive to email requests for comment, was spurred by firsthand experience to develop a clearinghouse of crippled con jobs, the aptly named “Abuse Board.”

“I have a severely handicapped brother,” he wrote on the website. “When I was one of his caregivers, I drove endlessly in circles looking for suitable handicapped parking. Often, we were forced to just wait it out, and hope for a designated blue handicapped parking space to become available. We were overwhelmed by how many able-bodied people slipped into these cars and drove away.”

The trauma these able-bodied moral derelicts have inflicted on the populace doesn't stop here. There are more than 10,000 documented submissions on HandicappedFraud.org's Abuse Board, ranging from the mundane to the offensive. However, among a substantial portion of the alleged deviants, there did appear to be one common modus operandi to acquire handicapped parking validation.

“Linda Buote parked her vehicle in the American Legion parking lot on Labor Day and then marched in the Labor Day Parade in Adams,” an anonymous tipster from Adams, N.Y. wrote Sept. 7. “I believe the plate was issued to her late husband that passed away in May 2012.”

“The lady had this for her deceased husband never took it down yet for two weeks now,” a different tipster from Altoona, Pa. wrote Sept. 3.

“This man's wife who was handicapped died in October of 2012, but he continues to use the handicapped plates and take parking spaces others may need,” a third tipster from Lubbock, Texas wrote Aug. 29. “He is an able bodied 56 year old man and his girlfriend is also using the plates inappropriately.”

No matter how many times the bereaved illegally park in handicapped spaces, causing immeasurable inconvenience to people suffering from perhaps the exact same malady that eventually killed their spouse, the loves of their lives won't be wheeling back from the dead. 

While grieving widows and widowers seem guilty of committing crimes of opportunity, there's another class of perpetrator who truly seem to hate law and society as constituted today.

“The driver drove fast around the parking lot on a monster truck 4x4 Chevy,” a tipster from San Jose, Calif. wrote Aug. 27. “Parked on the handicap zone and placed her handicap card on the mirror. A strong built woman opened the door and jumped 4 feet from the door to the ground. Then she rushed to the store. I was dumbfounded wondering how this woman got a permanent handicap permit.”

The alleged offender also has a memorable personalized California license plate adorning her “monster truck 4x4 Chevy.” Succinct yet enlightening, it reads “R8IDERS.”

For more information and a form to submit your own evidence of handicapped parking fraud, visit handicappedfraud.org.

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