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4/3/2008
New Hampshire: Grandmother Arrested, Dog Impounded Over Old Parking Tickets
Police in Portsmouth, New Hampshire arrest woman, impound dog over eight year old parking ticket.

Portsmouth, NH
Police in Portsmouth, New Hampshire have a long history of arresting motorists over minor offenses. Despite recent promises of reform, the force on Monday not only threw the book at a 58-year-old woman, but her dog as well. Susan Lehman alleged crime was failure to pay a couple of parking tickets issued eight years ago.

"It wasn't fun," Lehman told the Portsmouth Herald newspaper. "I was totally dumbfounded by the situation."

Police nabbed her in the afternoon as she attempted to refuel her car at the Lafayette Road gas station. The grandmother of three was handcuffed and led away to be booked while her 10-year-old canine companion, Sally, was impounded at the SPCA in Stratham.

Lehman was eventually released after paying a $500 bail bond which allowed her to rescue her dog. She now faces trial on May 19, 2008 for failing to appear in court on June 19, 2000 to answer for $90 in unpaid parking tickets. Although the court had sent Lehman a notice about this court date, it was returned as undeliverable. Lehman had moved into public housing and the letter had been mailed to her old address. Lehman does not recall any details about the old parking tickets.

Last month, Portsmouth police promised to cut back on the practice of arresting motorists over allegations of skipping out on 75 cent tolls in the light of embarrassing news coverage. In January, an innocent motorist was arrested and booked over a bogus accusation that he did not pay a single 75 cent toll. In 2005, an innocent woman was arrested over a $10 "unpaid" parking ticket that had actually been paid in full.

Source: Grandmothers arrest related to 8-year-old parking tickets (Portsmouth Herald (NH), 4/3/2008)



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