A 34-year-old Côte-St-Luc woman says she was railroaded into a $76 ticket for being in a public park after closing hours by two Montreal police officers she claims were rude and abusive.
Lindsay Rockbrand told CJAD 800 News she was enjoying a warm summer night on a park bench in Hampstead not far from her home about two weeks ago when two female police officers got out of their cruiser to ask her what she was doing and demanded i.d., saying she wasn't allowed to be there. The park is actually an island of green space in front of Holtham Street and Holtham Place.
Rockbrand said she wasn't told why and tried to leave, saying she didn't know about any bylaw forbidding her from being there. Rockbrand said the officers then stopped her and held her tightly by the arms, threatening to handcuff her.
Rockbrand accuses the officers of stalling and looking for a reason to ticket her. She claims the officers arrived as she was on the bench at least ten minutes before 11 pm and by the time she got the ticket, it was nearly ten minutes after 11, in violation of the municipal park bylaw. Rockbrand said she asked them why she was being treated like this.
"(One of the officers) looked at me with really serious eyes and said, 'Yeah? Well, you're the one treating us like shit,' " Rockbrand said.
Montreal police spokesman Laurent Gingras said they can't comment on specific tickets but that officers are supposed to state the reason for detaining you and then ask for i.d.
"They will proceed to ask for your name and identify yourself and following the investigation they will either issue you a ticket or give you a warning, or act accordingly in other cases, such as an arrest warrant," Gingras said.
"Anyone who would like to contest the ticket has 30 days to do so."
Rockbrand said she will.
"It was really just abrasive and rude and treating me like I was nothing, like I had no rights."