Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hot Dog!!!

Since I've been working in downtown DC (5 years ago this month) the same hot dog vendor has been outside my work place. He's an institution here, and everyone in the building knows the guy. For years, he's been feeding the meters for people who park on the street next to his stand. They give him a little money, and he keeps them fed. Well, this morning he was arrested and hauled away. Police investigators said they've been monitoring him for over a year. Well, they have enough evidence against him for feeding the meters with a quarter on a string. Who'da thought?

16 comments:

HOO said...

What kind of string would be thin enough to not impede the coin going into the meter in the first place? Sounds a bit suspicious to me.

Sherpa said...

dental floss?

Sherpa said...

The police apparently set up surveilance cameras to catch him in the act...

Kipluck said...

they set up video surveillance and this big sting just to catch a hot dog guy NOT PAYING QUARTERS?! Don't they have bigger crimes to solve there? It's DC!

Sherpa said...

Kip, in New York about 10 years ago, the police shifted focus and concentrated on petty crime...and lo and behold...violent crimes went down too. Now, that's not the only factor violent crime went down, but there's a high enough correlation to say that there's a relationship between the two. It wasn't a "big sting" either.

Besides, not every cop in DC is assigned to violent crimes in South East. Just because DC has a high murder rate (in one small section of town) doesn't mean that the cops should ignore petty crime. I somehow doubt that the cops who arrested him were just responsible for this one case.

I wouldn't be surprised if this buildings security was participating.

Guy Murray said...

Which just goes to show how out of focus a town like D.C. truly is. Get the guy feeding quarters on a string to parking meters; but, those guys who work in that big white house at the end of PA Avenue who ignore the Constitution, perjure themselves, obstruct justice, lie to wage war--well . . you get the gist. (sorry about the political rant--but this is just unreal).

Shannon said...

Poor hotdog guy.
I realize he was breaking the law, but I speed and don't always stop for the full three seconds at a stop sign, so who am I to judge?

Sherpa said...

Guy, those are two different jurisdictions...and you know it.

That being said, the arrest was excessive this morning. Dude shouldn't have been toying with the meters for a year or two and pocketing the change that people gave him which is a crime (a misdemeanor, but a crime)(which I think is more serious than speeding.)

bestsariah said...

I thought you were going to say he was arrested for putting money in the meters properly, which I've heard is illegal too. But taking it back out again...yeah, he's not allowed to do that. Silly hot dog man.

Guy Murray said...

Would a commutation or pardon be out of line here?

HOO said...

Let's ask Mark Rich, He's got the bucks, maybe he can pay all the Hot Dog guy's legal costs.

Steve said...

Aw, poor hotdog guy. Living in DC and working at a couple places around town, I've gotten to know a few of them. Most of them are hard working sorts. I personally don't care that he was scamming the parking authority. I think it's pretty ingenious. Too bad he just didn't think to sell his service at a premium to the lazy office workers instead of trying to rip off the city.

Sherpa said...

Steve--I'm almost positive metro police got a tip from security or those "lazy" office workers here in my building. I don't really care if he did it occasionally...but sounds like he was doing it regularly for an extended period of time. Still pretty minor, but a misdemeanor that trumps my traffic violations.


Guy-Sorry, but petty theft is still petty theft and has nothing to do with whats going on a few blocks away. If a friend gets her purse stolen, I still expect the cops to do their job, even if there's corruption going on a few blocks away. Day to day stuff still goes on no matter what's happening in the white house.

Hoo-that's so 2000. ;)

Shannon said...

Oh! I was confused. I thought I read that he was putting money in for people, as if it were a good gesture on his part. I didn't realize that people were giving him the money and he was just keeping it. I realize either way it's wrong, but it seems more wrong to me that he was a theif not just to the city but the common man as well. That's just bad karma all around.

Sherpa said...

Yeah, i agree, its bad karma. He was given money to keep the meters running. I'd bet most of the people who would give him money would give him a little extra as a tip etc. So, he was keeping his tip, the money they gave him to keep the meters running. Apparently he's been ripping the meters off for several years....which adds up to quite a bit of money.

B. said...

A quarter on a string?!?!? Is the hot dog guy's name Bugs Bunny by any chance?