From the Woodside Herald:
This ridiculous scene of events began as Dr. Goldhaber drove up to his office at 43-15 46th Street. Midway up the block an access-a-ride car was discharging two of the Doctors handicapped patients. The Doctor pulled up directly behind the car and discharged his passenger to unlock the office door for the waiting seniors to get out of the hot August heat. As the Doctor was parked behind the access-a-ride car he observed a man who was going to move his car from a parking spot directly in front of the Doctor’s office. The Doctor then drove his car in front of the access-a-ride car to wait for the impending spot. As he opened his door to retrieve his cell phone, which had fallen between the seat and car door, a blue traffic vehicle sped forward in front of the Doctor’s car. Two traffic agents jumped out of the car like a swat team and shouted “you’re getting a ticket for double parking!” The Doctor, who was dressed in his scrubs, looked at them and responded with “Are you joking? I’m not double parked, I’ve just pulled in front of my office to get this parking spot.” Traffic Agent Smith, with the scanner in her hand, said again “You’re getting a ticket for double parking; we saw you pull up behind that car (access-a-ride) and then you pulled in front of it.” Dr. Goldhaber responded that he was not double-parked and would not accept their harassment or intimidation tactics...
The Doctor told the sergeant that his office called for help, not the traffic agents. The sergeant explained that there is now a law, which states that if someone prevents a government employee from performing his or her job they are to be arrested for obstruction. He said the agents told him that the driver prevented them from giving him a ticket. The sergeant said to Dr. Goldhaber that he understands the whole situation, but he had no choice but arrest him under the law. The Doctor went willingly, as he was handcuffed and put into the patrol van and taken to the 108th Precinct for processing. He has been scheduled to appear for these charges on Dec. 7th 2009.
When Dr. Goldhaber was released after being processed, various sources explained which agencies were available to him, if he wished to file a complaint of official misconduct. He has decided to do so because these agents arrested him on false accusations. He was told that he was arrested for obstructing the agent’s ability to write a ticket. Yet Dr. Goldhaber was given a ticket. The ticket was written with all the car information and dated 8/11/09 at 9:39 A.M. He had just discharged his passenger and was in his car at the time. The ticket says “No discharging/receiving passengers and No driver. It is signed by Traffic Agent Smith. Is this a case of perjury and official misconduct by a public servant?
The events that happened to Dr. Goldhaber on Aug. 11, 2009 should really hit home to our citizens, neighbors and residents of Sunnyside and western Queens. Over the past 3-4 years we have all witnessed the increased aggressive enforcement that has taken place in our community. With the advent of these scanners, the traffic department not only has found a way to increase revenue and allow their agents to achieve their quotas quicker and easier, but many times without reasonable cause. We have all seen cars ticketed while a driver was in their car waiting for a parking spot on Queens Blvd. at 9:59 A.M. while waiting at a meter, for a 10:00 A.M. parking.
It is now our responsibility in the Sunnyside Community to stand up and tell our stories to prevent further abuses. How can we have faith in a system that is spinning out of control? Now is the time to stop this abuse of authority and humiliation in our streets. We should not be afraid to pull our cars in front of our homes or offices, or the discharging of passengers with packages.
Our Community’s concerns will be discussed at the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce meeting on September 8, 2009. We would like our Sunnyside Citizens and businesses to participate and share their stories and experiences that they may have had with aggressive or abusive traffic agents.