KUSA — Like the rest of us, Leo Harmon rides his trusty steed into battle every day.
“Parking here is crazy,” Harmon said. “I mean, you get here after 8:30 and it’s literally a battle.”
The fight for parking in Denver is real. Harmon found that out Wednesday when he picked a spot on East 2nd Avenue near Logan Street. He noticed the yellow curb and lines in the street but parked his car anyway.
“There’s these brackets,” Harmon said, showing the yellow lines. “But I thought it was okay.”
The space he took Wednesday morning he regretted after work.
“Here’s the actual notice. It’s an orange citation. It looks very official,” Harmon said, showing off the notice. “Immobilization notice. Do not attempt to move this car. This car is immobilized,” he read.
Sure enough, Harmon’s car was immobilized with a small, orange boot.
“When I first saw the claw on my car I was super nervous,” Harmon recalled. “I was like, ‘oh my God, did I not pay a ticket? I promise, I paid all my stuff.”
That’s when Harmon noticed the notice that looked legit, wasn’t. The city hadn’t placed the boot on his car. A homeowner did.
“It was just this private resident who decided to claw my car,” he said.
Harmon called the number listed on the parking notice. He got no answer. He called again, and again – eight times, he said until he finally got an answer. He said a couple that lived at the home in front of the yellow-painted curb came to greet him.
“The couple came out and told me that this is a regular occurrence apparently,” Harmon said. “They said, ‘we don’t want to charge you. We don’t want any bad feelings. We just want to have a conversation.”
Harmon said the couple removed the boot and explained that drivers continually block the space that’s really an entrance to their driveway. Harmon was thrown off by the curb.
“It looked like a parking space to me,” Harmon said.
Denver Public Works agrees. A spokeswoman said the city doesn’t consider the space in question on 2nd Avenue a driveway because the curb is not cut. City crews didn’t paint the curb or the yellow lines either.
Marley Bordovsky, director of prosecution and code enforcement for the Denver city attorney’s office, said the homeowner could have violated at least two city ordinances. Painting curbs violates city law and so does booting a car. Bordovsky said booting a car on public property is essentially motor vehicle theft and can rise to the level of a felony offense if the boot is left on for more than 24 hours.
The city attorney’s office said it would follow up with the homeowner. A man who lives at the home told 9NEWS late Thursday he was responsible for booting Harmon’s car and admitted he’d “made a massive mistake.” He’d gotten fed up with drivers parking in front of the space he uses as a driveway and tried the boot out for the first time Wednesday night. He looked up city ordinances on Thursday and realized he was in the wrong. He said he wouldn’t use the boot again, which is good news for Leo Harmon and the rest of us who face the parking battle every day.
“The problem isn’t solved if you continue to boot people’s cars,” Harmon said.
If a parked car is blocking your driveway and you want it moved, the city attorney’s office recommends calling the non-emergency number for police or 311.