LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Lafayette police car was caught on camera parking in a handicapped space at an IHOP. That officer is not handicapped and had no emergency reason to park there. He says it was not intentional.
The picture went viral and caused people in the community to reach out to local government about the incident.
Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard responded to emails and said they would look into it.
Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly said the department is disappointed and embarrassed.
“It does appear that the officer made a mistake, pulled into the parking spot didn’t see the marking on the pavement, and I think he’s pretty embarrassed as well,” said Flannelly. “So now, for our command staff and for his supervisors, it will be a matter of what discipline will be appropriate in this case.”
Lafayette resident Abby Larowe heard about the incident. She thinks the officer should be punished because it sends a bad message.
“I feel like it just shows the public that the police feel like they can do whatever they want, park wherever they want, which I feel like they shouldn’t be able to — especially when those spots are reserved for people who are actually disabled,” said Larowe.
News 18 contacted the man who allegedly posted the picture online but has yet to hear back from him.
In a press release, Chief Flannelly identified the offending employee as Officer Jason Savage. Flannelly said Savage self-reported the situation to his commanding officer.
Flannelly said the parking space was not properly marked as a handicap space because it doesn’t have the signage required. Because of that, he added that no vehicle, no matter who was driving, could be ticketed for parking in that space.