Lawyer attempts to drive away with ‘booted’ truck

Posted May 06, 2009, at 8:05 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:20 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The truck of a lawyer from Millinocket, who had at least three unpaid parking tickets, was “booted” on Tuesday by Bangor police, but that didn’t stop him from trying to drive away, Sgt. Paul Edwards said on Wednesday.

Michael Harman, 48, was charged with criminal mischief at around noon after he reportedly damaged the police department’s vehicle immobilization device, known as the “Denver Boot.”

“The metal device was found to be lodged under the vehicle’s wheel well when Mr. Harman tried to drive away, causing damage to his truck and the immobilization device,” Edwards said.

Harmon was attempting to leave a Middle Street parking spot in a 2000 GMC pickup, he said.

Whenever the orange colored Denver Boot is put into place to disable a vehicle, a bright orange notice also is placed in the front windshield, the sergeant said.

Two witnesses saw Harman attempting to leave and were interviewed by Bangor police Sgt. John Roach, the department’s parking supervisor, before Harman was charged.

Harman pulled out his checkbook and paid his unpaid parking tickets “and both he and his vehicle were released,” Edwards said.

How much damage was done to the truck is unknown, but “it’s going to cost us $480 to replace the boot,” Edwards said.

The Denver Boot, which is typically clasped onto the front driver’s side wheel preventing vehicles from being moved, is used only after the owner has failed to pay three or more outstanding parking tickets. Once parking tickets are more than 30 days overdue, Bangor code also allows the police department to tow the vehicle to an impound area until the outstanding tickets are paid.

The notice that was placed in the windshield warns the operator to contact the Parking Division before attempting to move the vehicle.

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