Cars, Crime, Lawyer of the Day

Lawyer of the Day: What Kind Of Man Allegedly Messes With Another Man’s Vehicle?

People who park like this should be forced to walk.

Remember the judge who was indicted for keying his neighbor’s car? Well, we’ve got another alleged incident of vehicular vandalism in the legal community, and this one is just dripping with spite.

According to published reports, a lawyer in Seattle has been accused of keying cars and leaving threatening notes on improperly parked vehicles.

I hate bad parking as much as the next guy, unless the next guy is this guy….

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the details:

King County prosecutors claim Ronald Clarke Mattson vandalized at least three cars at Columbia Center, including one parked askew by building security as part of a sting operation.

On March 9, a woman returned to her Ford SUV to find an angry note, written on Washington Athletic Club stationery, left on her windshield. The note’s author – identified by prosecutors as Mattson – suggested the woman “take some parking lessons” and called her an idiot.

Having returned home, the woman realized someone had dragged a key across her car doors, leaving deep scratches, according to charging documents.

Okay, full disclosure time: I am an excellent car parker. I drove a ’92 Cadillac Fleetwood in Boston during law school, and I couldn’t afford one of those fancy private parking spots. I have the spatial awareness of a Top Gun pilot when it comes to parking automobiles and truly I’d be the world’s best valet if one could make a good living doing that job.

So if the allegations are true (and detectives claim that he’s admitted his wrongdoing), I really sympathize with Ronald Clarke Mattson. People who can’t park annoy the hell out of me. I don’t even know how to relate to people who can’t park in a parking garage, where they have clearly marked lines. I totally understand the impulse to vandalize the offending cars; if the owners can’t be bothered to park the thing correctly, why should they care if they end up with scratch marks? Improperly parked cars get dinged up all time.

I understand the impulse. But I would never do it. You see, when I’m not blogging, I actually have impulse control.

And even if I didn’t, I’d be a much better writer than Mattson:

[A]nother woman returned to her car in the Columbia Center parking garage to find an angry note on her Volvo station wagon. As in the earlier case, the woman had parked over the stall line.

“Where did you learn how to park, Dweeb!!” the note read, according to charging documents. That note was also penned on Washington Athletic Club stationery.

Dweeb? I’d have gone with “Learn to park or buy a Mercedes before I send your car back to IKEA.” You see, you can’t truly insult the driver unless you also insult the car itself.

In any event, the authorities finally caught up with Mattson:

According to charging documents, building security officers hoping to identify the vandal set up a sting operation on March 15. Security officers parked a Pontiac sedan improperly in the area of the garage where the other cars had been keyed.

As surveillance officers looked on, Mattson drove his silver Porsche past the “bait” car, stopped and reversed back by the Pontiac, Seattle Detective John Crumb told the court. Mattson then parked and approached the car.

Security officers later told police Mattson was seen scratching the Pontiac, according to the detective’s statement.

It must be terrible for a guy in a Porsche to even have to see a Pontiac, much less an improperly parked one.

But you’ve got to control yourself. You’re driving a Porsche, you’ve already won! Stepping out of your Porsche to scratch up a Pontiac is like leaving the first-class cabin to smack an annoying child yammering near the coach bathroom. Sure the kid deserves it, but you’ve got to have better things to do.

Of course, the lesson from all of this is: learn to park your cars and nobody will get hurt, Dweebs!!

Seattle attorney charged with keying badly parked cars [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

Earlier: Judge of the Day: What’s more [cowardly] than [vandalizing] another man’s automobile?

(hidden for your protection)

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