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Rolly: Parking mistake in Utah can prove dire

Published July 18, 2013 10:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jeremy Furbish definitely screwed up. And he admits it.

But the lenient way Utah regulates tow truck companies can result, perhaps, in a punishment that doesn't fit the crime. And based on one's financial status, illegal parking can equate to a capital offense.

Furbish apologized on his Facebook page Thursday for parking Wednesday between 8-10 p.m. in a space that was marked as reserved for someone else.

"You had every right to have it towed," he wrote to whoever was offended enough to haul his car away.

"However, since you had it towed, I feel compelled to inform you of the impact your choice has had on me," he wrote.

Furbish explained that he is a single father of four young girls, trying to scrape by since his wife decided to leave the family.

"The cost of retrieving my vehicle from the impound lot is $214. In order for me to get the car out of impound lot, I will have to forgo some much needed medical care for which I have been saving, and I will no longer be having the luxury of having Internet in my home.

"I will be borrowing money to pay for my child's eighth birthday party next Tuesday, because what I had saved has gone to the impound lot for my car," he wrote, adding that he was just beginning to get a little ahead.

"As far as I know I have never parked in your spot before. It was an honest mistake on my part," he wrote.

"Aside from the $214 impound lot fee, I need to pay a baby sitter while I walk to the bank and then the impound lot to retrieve my car. The monetary cost aside, your decision to have my car towed caused a lot of emotional distress for me and my family."

Perhaps, in the future, an angry note would be enough to stem his negligence of parking in the wrong place. And it wouldn't devastate a family already on hard times.

But politically well-connected tow truck companies wouldn't get their pound of flesh that way, would they?

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Slow on the uptake? • Salt Lake Avenues residents became curious recently when they noticed several Salt Lake City police officers surrounding a bicyclist at the corner of 6th Avenue and K Street.

As neighbors approached the scene, it was apparent the cyclist was inebriated. His bike was lying on the ground, and he was having a hard time keeping on his feet while police questioned him.

Finally, he was given a citation for public intoxication. But then the cops let him get back on his bike. As he rode away — wobbling — he only got a few yards before smacking head-on into a tree. He was knocked off the bike and had a severe gash on his head.

That's when neighbors began questioning the cops' judgment of letting an obviously drunken man ride away on a bike.

The shift watch commander was called to the scene and, after some consultation, the man was arrested and escorted to jail.

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Passing the peace pipe • Three months after the majority of the South Jordan City Council publicly reprimanded Councilman Larry Short for his commentary in a local weekly that suggested city brass wanted to change the government for personal gain, Short got a public apology.

Councilman Steve Barnes, one of three council members who voted for the reprimand, stood before the council meeting Tuesday and apologized to Short.

"In South Jordan, even we as members of the City Council from time to time have disagreements. Considering the fact that we haven't had any duels I think is a credit to the city. That said, I want to apologize to council member Short for the way I went about expressing my unhappiness with some of his actions," said Barnes, who is one of six candidates running for mayor this year.

"Thanks," said Short. "But still not voting for you for mayor."

Later, Short told me that was a joke, and he got a laugh. He said he hasn't decided who will get his vote for mayor, but he added that Barnes' apology "took a lot of guts."

Barnes told me he privately apologized to Short much earlier, before he decided to run for mayor.

prolly@sltrib.com