A Michigan man is speaking out after he was slapped with a ticket for leaving his car running unattended in his girlfriend’s driveway so it could warm up.
Taylor Trupiano, 24, said he was away from his car for about seven minutes last week when he returned to find the $128 ticket on his windshield, WXYZ reported.
“I was furious when I saw it,” he told WDIV-TV. “Every person warms up their car. We live in Michigan!”
In anger, he posted a now-viral photo of the ticket to his Facebook page Thursday, criticizing the police department for “wasting the taxpayer’s money.” Trupiano, who goes by Nick Taylor online, further chastised the Roseville officer responsible for writing the ticket and used profane language, which he has since said he regrets using.
Roseville Police Chief James Berlin, who saw the post, came to his officer’s defense with some equally frigid words for Taylor that he shared with WDIV-TV: “Drop dead.”
Berlin argued that leaving vehicles unlocked, unattended and with the motor running provokes thefts.
Local ordinances across the state forbid drivers from leaving their cars unattended like this, though there are exceptions if the vehicle has a remote startup that ensures the vehicle remains locked, WXYZ reported.
“I encourage our officers to write this ticket,” Berlin told CBS Detroit. “All it takes is someone to hop in this car and take off. Then there’s a chase often at a high rate of speed and all that could have been prevented.”
Not everyone agrees with this kind of handling, however.
WXYZ visited one Roseville neighborhood where several vehicles were running unattended in driveways. One resident, Antoinette Lewis, expressed surprise over news that she, too, could be hit with a $128 ticket for doing so.
“Wow, that’s really unfortunate. It’s really cold out here and my car’s been running for like 20 minutes,” Lewis told the station.
A Facebook page for Roseville’s Police Department has been plastered with comments criticizing the ticket as well as Berlin’s personal handling of the situation.
Trupiano said he will fight the ticket in court later this month.