NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Some residents in downtown New Orleans woke up to find their vehicles smashed, and on top of that, some said meter maids pushed the broken glass out of the way to leave them parking tickets.
Almost 20 vehicles were damaged on O’Keefe Ave. on Wednesday morning in what appears to be a random act committed by one woman.
Just before 6 a.m., police said 25-year-old Taylor Chin was arrested for striking the vehicles with a piece of rebar.
Surveillance video showed a woman repeatedly smashing in windows, side mirrors and taillights of vehicles along O’Keefe Ave. One Mercedes-Benz with broken windows, door handles, and side view mirrors was about to be towed away, but not because of the damage.
Kyle France says his daughter could not get in her SUV because of the damage.
“The second part of this which is rather unfortunate is these cars were parked here overnight. They come out to go to work in the morning, and they can’t move their cars. I mean, this car is not accessible through the doors.”
Trace Hancock said he awoke to what sounded like a jackhammer, and police everywhere. His car was not only damaged, but vehicles were also being ticketed.
“The City of New Orleans sent me a good condolence card, with one of the little orange envelopes which was really sweet. We're excited about that,” Hancock said.
France said the meter maid was writing tickets on damaged vehicles that could not be moved. Police arrested chin on 19 counts of simple criminal damage to property.
Officers said they found the damaged vehicles in the 600 block of O’Keefe Street, the 600 block of South Rampart Street and the 700 block of Loyola Avenue.
"At the end of the day, a lady coming through here with a crowbar and not knowing if she has a gun or something else on her body, you’re kind of a sitting duck,” France said.
One of the victims who received a ticket confronted the meter maid, who he said was apologetic and gave him a contact for her supervisor about retracting the ticket.
Despite more than one of the car owners saying they received a ticket, a spokesman with the city said there was only one citation issued on O’Keefe Ave. because the officer did not know the car had been vandalized. That citation will be dismissed.