How many times have you found yourself searching for a parking spot in either a crowded parking lot or on a street with limited spaces before giving up?
What if you couldn’t afford to throw in the towel and leave? What if your only option was to take the risk and park your car in a spot that could result in a parking ticket?
One man took that risk while visiting a VA medical center and unfortunately he ended up with a ticket. Rather than immediately pay the fine, he had something to say in court.
This man is a Vietnam veteran.
The unidentified man appeared in Judge Frank Caprio’s courtroom (on an episode of Caught in Providence) after he received a parking violation in Providence, Rhode Island, in May 2016.
When Caprio asked the man if he had anything to say, the man admitted he was guilty of the violation, but insisted that he explain.
The man explained to Judge Caprio that he was a veteran who visited the VA medical center several times a week.
He explained to the court how every time he goes to the VA medical center he notices the “atrocious” parking situation. He noted how he witnessed people park their cars in places where they shouldn’t be, and though they weren’t legal parking spots, they never received a ticket.
“[I] figured the police were giving veterans a break,” he told Caprio.
Caprio listened carefully as the veteran explained the parking situation at the VA medical center.
The veteran expressed his feelings about the steep fine for first time offenders and then continued by offering a solution to the court: parking signs that stated the fine and leniency towards himself and his fellow veterans.
Caprio agreed with the veteran’s argument.
When it came time for his decision Caprio had just five words to say.
“Thank you for your service.”
The judge dismissed the parking violation and thanked the veteran for his service.
“Thank you very much your honor,” the veteran said to Caprio. “I want to thank you for years of service to the community.”
This isn’t the first time Caprio has shown compassion for those who have stood before him. Caprio is a municipal judge in Providence whose unique rulings often go viral.
“I take it to another extent. If I think there are certain circumstances in an individual’s life or it’s a close call, I give them the benefit of the doubt,” Caprio told the DailyMail in July 2017. “I don’t subscribe to the theory that because you were charged you must be guilty.”