Soldier Just Back From Afghanistan Fights City Over Parking Ticket

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

WORCESTER (CBS) – A Massachusetts National Guard soldier says he is now back from the battleground in Afghanistan to face his own fight at home… over a parking ticket. “It was a slap in the face,” he says, “Someone there is not supporting soldiers in their city.”

Captain Quentin Carmichael, says on September 11th, his wife handed him a letter from the City of Worcester Parking Administrator denying his request to dismiss a parking ticket and fine from his deployment. The letter said he must go to Worcester Superior Court if he wanted to continue the appeal.

Captain Carmichael says he had asked his wife to move their car periodically from their driveway to the street while he was overseas, so that people wouldn’t know he was away.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

He said his wife was having a difficult time with the deployment, and had problems with their home, so she went to visit her family in Vermont for support.

My wife was using her support network, her family in Vermont, she wasn’t there to see the street sweeping signs, and she had to do what she had to do to make sure she could get through the deployment and that was spending time with her family.”

She says while she was away, she left the car in the street, and on May 20th she received a ticket for interfering with street sweeping.

Carmichael says, “My wife called the parking office when she returned the next week and was told that, ‘It should be fine, just send in your husband’s order’ So she did.”

But Carmichael says when he came home and went to the RMV to renew his registration, he was told that he had an outstanding ticket. “When I asked my wife, she told me the story and thought it was all set. It wasn’t. The ticket was now $90.”

Carmichael had had tickets when he was on training in the past, and thought that the city would dismiss this when they understood the circumstances and “take care of a soldier that just got back from Afghanistan…. I thought of course the City of Worcester will support a veteran once I explain the story and that’s why I was really shocked.”

But the city is standing by it’s ruling. We asked Worcester’s Parking Administrator Elvira Guardiola to explain why.

Guardiola says she never received an appeal from Carmichael’s wife. She says even if she had, she would have denied the appeal. Why is it different from past requests? Guardiola says, “This time round he admitted he allowed someone else to have the vehicle. Someone else drives the vehicle. While someone else drives the vehicle, he’s responsible for that.”

But when it was pointed out that Carmichael says they were moving it so it looked like he were home for safety purpose. Guardiola responded, “Correct he’s still allowing someone else to use the vehicle.” She says the bottom line in her opinion is, “He’s responsible for any ticket received in that vehicle while his wife is using it.”

Carmichael says, “I want the city of Worcester, the people to understand what families go through. It’s not a black and white issue all the time. Yes, the car was parked illegally. But if someone were there from my household to see the signs it would not have been there. They say it’s not a compelling reason that I was in Afghanistan and my wife was with her family trying to cope with my being in Afghanistan, but I think they need to re-look at that decision.”

Carmichael was featured on WBZ-TV earlier this month for rescuing puppies that were being tortured by a group of boys in Afghanistan.

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  • lieut dan's aunt

    who do i send a check to? i”ll bet the wife did send a copy of her husband’s orders. political hacks “lose” stuff all the time. this is a disgrace. hopefully this is resolved real quick, otherwise i’ll send the veterans’ agent for worcester a check (and hope others will follow that example). and they can set up an account to take care of this unfortunate incident, and use additional monies to correct such errors in the future. guardsmen (and women) and their families don’t have enough problems without this stuff. appalling

    • Chris

      I will join in too. Give me an address to send the check to. I’ll pay for his parking ticket, or I will send a check to the veterans association. I understand rules are the rules, but there are times when you have to use common sense. These are the men and women who are protecting our rights. The day you put your whole life on the line for this country, let me know and I’ll pay for your parking ticket too! Trust me, I don’t make a lot of money, and $90.00 could go a long way in my pocket, but to say thank you to a Vet who protected our rights and freedom. This is the least we could do as Americans!

  • gdfgdgdfg

    live by the rules dont use your tour as an excuse

    • JOE

      Go to Afghanistan where the only rules are; kill or be killed. Then, instead of pointing my finger at you and laughing hysterically, maybe I will take you seriously if you make it back and still feel the same way. Lol, what a joke. LMFAO AT YOU! :-)

      PS, Atleast have the balls to attach your name to such a ridiculous comment.

      • Bob

        ‘Go to Afghanistan where the only rules are; kill or be killed’

        No wonder the country is in such a horrific state with psycos like you making stupid generalisations like that.
        Your there to help them re build not have total war against them, was a single 911 terrorist from afghanistan no but carry on with that attitude and the next lot sure as hell will be.

      • Thomas Jefferson

        You are an idiot. Stop watching full metal jacket moron. Were you drafted? When you take the oath you know what you are in for-this attitude of “now you owe me something” is stupid. “kill or be killed” is the ONLY rule ha?? Grow up. I am sure you have many pictures with your M-4 in front of a vehicle so you can remind yourself and others daily about how “heroic” you were because you were in the green zone/behind the wire idiot.

    • Nobody

      Totally agree

      • JOE

        Wow, your name fits your comment perfectly!

      • whilly

        your both idiots we need to support our troops.

    • neville rivet

      Did this guy not say “I never had problems at city hall with parking tickets before

      I’ve had 1 in my life. How does he figure he can constantly park illegally and get them fixed?

      This guy’s an insult to all the other vets that have served.


  • Cinque

    Why is a case over a parking ticket being made into such a huge issue? Is it not rather simple to admit that the Captain’s wife made a mistake and should have known about not leaving the car on the street? Pay the damn $90 ticket and accept it as an expensive mistake rather than make the claim that his wife gave it to him on “September 11th”. One other thing is that as was the case in WW-2, Korea and Vietnam, only 8 or 10 percent of the troops are combat. Many work in supply, personnel and even the kitchen. Capt. Carmichael is obviously infantry and I’m sure that the ticket will be taken care of but take my word for it, I met many “heroes” in the VFW who boasted of their Vietnam veteran status yet never left stateside.

  • cc

    So now just because you have served this country you aren’t subject to the same laws? If this were any politician trying to get out of a parking ticket you’d all want them strung up by their feet. Their excuses as to why they shouldn’t have to pay is BOGUS. you are leaving your home for a week, park your vehicle in a safe spot. Glad your husband served this country, but the fact that you want to flaunt that any time you get in some sort of trouble is less than noble.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    This is close to abusing power/disgracing the uniform. This has no business being a news story or plea for help from the public. Voluntary military service and violating laws and ordinances have nothing to do with each other. You should be leading by example. No special treatment. You already admitted you violated the law-pay what you owe and move on. There are bigger issues in the world. And Yes, I am also a Veteran. You are a Captain? This sounds like something a young, inexperienced enlisted would do.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    Watching the end of the video says it all….”when this happened in the past in he was in training, he didn’t have a problem appealing the tickets”…So he was well aware of the violation and what would happen. He is trying to use his position and uniform to obtain special treatment-CBS should be reporting this to his superiors as he should not be using the public to serve himself while violating laws. A Captain? Did anyone check his alleged credentials? This needs to be sent to the AG of the National Guard and the Governor. I can believe CBS is siding with this buffoon.

    • paula

      Sorry i may get flack over this ,but i agree. Sounds like this isn’t the first time.Serving in the Armed forces does’nt give you a pass. My grandson is now serving in Kabul, Afghanistan and i don’t believe he’d take advantage of the media for a parking ticket.

  • RD

    Suck it up, pay the damn ticket, your a captain and make 60K+ a year…I am a sergeant and never used the excuse of deploying for something wrong i have done…

  • Bob

    A soldier should never be praised for doing what is expected of him.

    It does not mean they are better human being because they choose to go to a war zone, and does not mean they are above the law !!!!!!

  • captjh

    This is absurd. Pay the ticket. Stop using your time away to be excused for violating the rules. As a military person you should know all about following rules. Get a life. This is not a story.

  • Jim V.

    This is a case where the soldier believes that not only is he “ENTITLED” to getting away with breaking the law, but that his wife is also entitled to “special” treatment. This guy has to realize that he’s the same as the rest of us and he’s lucky to have gotten away with what he already has. Your wife parked your car illegally….PAY the TICKET, buddy!

  • Mikey

    Simple solution would have been for his wife to just park the car in the driveway before she left. Pretty simple way to have avoided any of this.

  • Ted

    If they don’t make an exception for a guy in afghanistan they are crazy.

  • LS Bell

    Dude. . pay the ticket. . .

  • JMD

    Serving in the military does not exempt one from following the law. However, if the signs he refers to were temporarily placed there before the street cleaning, I think he’s got a good argument.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      He has had multiple tickets for the same thing in the past and knows it is wrong. It has nothing to do with military service. He is trying to use his uniform to benefit. I am sure the State and the National Guard will have something to say about his actions. He violated procedures by using pictures of him in uniform and mentioning his military service to exploit the situation. He should be demoted for his poor judgement at a minimum. This has no business being in the paper or in the news.

  • Jacob

    “As I mentioned I was putting my uniform together for September 11th.” Worcester has a great support network for veterans, but you sir nor your wife are above the law. Next time I get in a pinch I wont drop my V card. You chose your career path, as did I. Take responsibility for your actions.

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