Town officials came to a unanimous decision in June to uphold a $150 parking ticket issued to a 42-year New Canaan resident who parked in a disabled space downtown.
Yuosef Malekzedah, 81, was taking his daughter’s Jeep into town when he felt the need to use the restroom, he told members of the Parking Commission during a June 14 appeal hearing, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. With all of the spaces surrounding the Mobil gas station full, he made the decision to park in a nearby handicap space, Malekzedah said.
“I couldn’t go into the gas station because a gasoline tanker was there,” he said. “I parked in a handicapped for a few minutes and went to bathroom and I came back and got a ticket.”
In his written appeal, filed May 23, Malekzedah said that he takes three different medications to treat a chronic condition. When officials asked during the meeting if he was eligible for a disabled placard, Melakzedah said that he did not apply for one, despite meeting the requirements.
“I’m 81 years old, and probably I’ll be able to get it,” he said.
During deliberations later in the meeting, officials came to the conclusion that Malekzedah did not have an excuse to lack a proper tag.
Commissioner Marley Thackray said it was “hard to go soft on handicapped spots, they’re there for a reason—they’re there for people who really need them.”
“I don’t want to set a precedent,” she added.
Commissioner Drew Magratten said that he was considering giving Malekzedah the benefit of the doubt, but changed his mind after considering the details.
“I think we’ve got to give the ticket,” he said. “It is a handicap spot, he should have a handicap tag.”
While a decision was ultimately made to uphold Malekzedah’s citation, the Commission also decided to send him instructions on how to apply for a disabled permit along with the news that his ticket would be upheld, so the incident will not repeat itself in the future.