parking ticket on car windshield
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
October 5, 2023 ·  4 min read

Police Officer Was About to Give a Parking Ticket Until He Saw This Note

Have you ever received a parking ticket and wished you had been given a little leniency? Maybe you were running late for work, or you only had to park quickly to pick up a prescription. Whatever the excuse, you know that you were just a ‘little off’ that day, and it wasn’t a regular thing for you to do. Sometimes police or parking enforcement officers have quotas to meet, and sometimes, just sometimes, they offer a little pity, and you get off with a warning.

Avoiding a Parking Ticket

In 2017, a Wisconsin resident left their car parked in front of the meter overnight. Amazingly, they weren’t given a ticket for the illegal park job. As it turns out, the resident had enjoyed a night out and was too intoxicated to drive home. Instead of risking their life or the lives of others, they took a chance on the kindness of their local police department.

They left a note on the windshield that read, “Please take pity on me, I walked home … Safe choices. =)

pity note written placed on car to inform police officer why their car was parked illegally 

"Please take pity on me. I walked home ... safe choices. :)"
Image Credit: Wausau Police Department | Facebook

Although Jim Hellrod, the officer on duty, had intended to write a parking ticket, he saw the note on the windshield. After recognizing the citizen’s responsible decision, he refrained from writing the parking ticket. Instead, he issued a “parking ticket” that said, “Pity granted, just a warning. $00.00.

Officer Hellrod rewarded the citizen’s responsible decision, a great example of how making the safe choice or being respectful when interacting with officers can actually have a desired result such as a lesser ticket or even no parking ticket at all.

Worse than a Parking Ticket

Sadly, getting a parking ticket is only the tip of the iceberg regarding consequences related to drunk driving. In fact, driving isn’t the only thing that can be negatively impacted by alcohol or other substances. There are some obvious downsides such as financial difficulties, emotional turmoil for the user and their loved ones, and the inability to function daily. People miss out on precious moments as well as cause trauma to the people they love. In many extreme cases, getting behind the wheel of a car can lead to fatal accidents.

Read: Keanu Reeves went out of his way to make the day of an 80-year-old grandmother who had a crush on him

Fatal Decisions

Worse than a parking ticket, there are substance-related fatalities. In 2016, more than 35,000 alcohol-related fatalities were due to a car accident. In contrast, by the year 2020, the numbers had dropped to around 12,000. However, how the pandemic and quarantine also impacted these numbers is unclear. In an ideal world, people have learned to continue to make better choices. Although self-inflicted death from impaired driving is disheartening, it’s even more so for the victims and their families. Alcohol has been shown to slow or diminish skills necessary for safe driving. For example, alcohol can slow reaction time, meaning someone under the influence may not be as quick to notice or even slow for an obstruction in the road. They may also struggle to make safe decisions quickly or effectively.

Most people don’t view those in law enforcement as equal to themselves. However, everyone feels the impacts of trauma. For many officers, peeling dead bodies off roads or watching a dismembered body carried away by EMTs is just as traumatizing and heartbreaking as it would be for the rest of us average citizens. For this reason, as well as the number of “unnecessary” deaths, those in law enforcement urge people to drink responsibly.

In addition to occasionally giving people a break on their parking tickets, police have also been known to do some incredibly kind things for their communities.

Police Do Good for Communities

Osceola County Police in Florida attended a young boy’s party when no one else showed him, making his day so special he’ll likely always remember it. Meanwhile, officers in Arizona took part in attending father-daughter dances with girls who’d lost their fathers in the line of duty. All the way across the pond, an officer who was meant to cite a “shoplifter” took time to find out about his situation and struggles as a single father. As a result, the officer purchased his baby’s formula and gifted it to the man. Other stories have included officers buying meals and water for the homeless and stolen goods, such as replacing a little girl’s stolen bike.

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The reality is that there are good and bad people everywhere: people of every race, people of every profession, and people of every age. Furthermore, things like speeding or parking tickets generate extra revenue for cities and states, which brings to light another important topic: isn’t that why people pay taxes? Regardless of the actual reason, police officers are just doing their jobs to earn a paycheck and help feed their families, similar to the rest of the working class.

Keep Reading: Guy Dressed As Batman Rescues Shelter Pets From Euthanasia


  1. Impaired Driving: Get the Facts.” CDC.
  2. Cop issues ‘pity’ warning instead of ticket after finding funny note.NY Post. June 14, 2017
  3. Positive Police Stories That Will Change Your Mind About Law Enforcement.Rassmusen University Ashley Brooks. May 11, 2015.
  4. How a simple note could get you out of a parking ticket.CNN. Jessica Suerth. June 13, 2017.