ADAMS COUNTY- For a Denver man who was just trying to fix his vandalized windshield, there is no break over the break.
“I got a ticket for something that I was close as I could be to resolving,” Nick Berlin said.
A day after a vandal had thrown a rock at his windshield, Berlin made an appointment at a local auto glass shop to have it replaced.
Just as he was about to pull into the auto glass shop, an Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled Berlin over and issued him a ticket for an “unsafe vehicle.”
The ticket was issued in the parking lot of Absolute Auto Glass at Broadway and West 64th Avenue on Aug. 19.
9Wants to Know acquired the ticket from the Adams County Sheriff’s Department and reviewed invoices and schedules provided by Absolute Auto Glass.
Records corroborate Berlin’s account of when and where he was issued the ticket and his set appointment at the shop.
The ticket shows the officer wrote up the citation at 3:39 p.m., just minutes after Berlin’s set appointment.
“We were just standing here in our door and were ready for his appointment and all of the sudden we see a cop out there writing the guy a ticket,” shop owner David Sprague said. “We were pretty astounded to think that was what happened.”
Images provided by Absolute Auto Glass show damages to the passenger side of the windshield. “He had plenty of visibility on the driver side,” Sprague said.
Berlin insists he tried explaining to the Adams County deputy he had an appointment to repair the windshield, but in the end, it didn’t make difference.
“I don’t know if he’s a no-nonsense kind of cop,” Berlin said, while claiming he never raised his voice or got angry with the officer. “It was definitely a bummer.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado called the ticket part of a larger problem.
“The more and more police officers see their role as ticketing as opposed to protecting public safety, that has a tendency to erode the public trust,” said Denise Maes, the public policy director for the ACLU.
The Sheriff‘s Department‘s “no comment“
9Wants to Know requested an on-camera interview with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department to explain the reasoning behind the ticket.
A spokesperson said a commander within the department didn’t want to do the interview and that no comment would be provided for this report. The spokesperson would only say the ticking officer has his own “discretion.”
Driving with a broken windshield in Adams County can be a violation, according to the traffic code.
Berlin wishes he could have been given a break over his broken windshield. He plans to fight the ticket in court.
“It’s the idea more than the amount of money,” Berlin said.
Shop owner David Sprague said he would cover Berlin’s $46 dollar ticket if the judge doesn’t dismiss the citation. Court is set for Nov. 18.
(© 2015 KUSA)