(WSVN) - A South Florida woman has run into ticket trouble. She says she told a police officer she didn’t like the way he was doing his job, so he gave her five citations, including a felony charge. It’s why she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Kristy stopped working as a nurse to care for her autistic son.
Teaching Brandon requires patience, but Kristy ran out of patience the other day while trying to drop off her other son at Ben Sheppard Elementary School.
Kristy Hernandez, ticketed again and again: “The students are late, and this police officer, I’m sure he’s not oblivious to everyone beeping and saying something.”
Kristy says she waited in line for 20 minutes because a school police officer was ticketing another driver, slowing down parents trying to leave.
Kristy Hernandez: “Blocking the exit, not allowing anyone to get out.”
Kristy videotaped the officer as she drove by him and didn’t keep her thoughts to herself.
Kristy Hernandez (dash-cam video): “‘The students are late to school because of you. I’m going to be sending this to your supervisor, by the way, sir.'”
A few seconds later she heard this.
Kristy Hernandez: [cop horns] “‘What are you stopping me for? You’re blocking traffic.'”
Kristy quickly pulled over — still on school property — where she was about to meet the officer, Ismael Castilla, and the trouble was about to begin.
Kristy Hernandez: “‘I’m pulling you over because you have an obstruction of your license plate.'”
Kristy’s car was in the shop, and she was driving her father’s vehicle. The officer told her he was ticketing her because he could not see “MyFlorida.com” at the top of the tag.
Kristy says she sensed things were about to get bad so she turned the dash-cam towards her.
Kristy Hernandez: “I’ve never been on the wrong side of the law, so it’s scary for me.”
And Officer Castilla was about to put Kristy on the wrong side of the law — again and again.
Kristy Hernandez: “And so he had those five citations to give me.”
Patrick Fraser: “Five?”
Kristy Hernandez: “Five citations.”
Five citations. Besides the tag frame, the officer ticketed her not showing him the car registration and insurance, even though Kristy says both were in the car. She also got a ticket for having the dash-cam.
Kristy Hernandez: “It’s a small dash-cam. He said it was obstructing my view.”
And then the fifth one, a felony.
Kristy Hernandez: “He said I fled and eluded the police officer.”
When Kristy pulled over on school property, the officer’s car was left in the road, so she pulled up a few feet to give him space to park, and that’s what got her charged with a felony for fleeing and eluding.
By then, Brandon was crying, Kristy was hysterical, and another school police officer showed up.
School officer: “I need a favor from you. I need you to please calm down.”
Kristy tried to reason with the new officer.
Kristy Hernandez: “Everyone was beeping at him, and all because I said, ‘You are not doing your job properly.’ He signaled me out.”
Didn’t matter. Kristy now has four tickets and a felony charge.
Kristy Hernandez: “I felt violated. I felt victimized. It’s clear to see that he did it in retaliation.”
Well, Howard, you have seen the video. Legally, is this right?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “No. This is an abuse of power. Legally, Kristy can say she does not like the way the officer is doing his job, but he cannot retaliate and charge her with a felony. And by the way, he wrote the felony charge incorrectly, and it’s not valid at all. As for the other four citations, a judge will see what happened here and throw them all out.”
I contacted Miami-Dade Schools Police regarding the four tickets and the felony charge. Concerning Kristy, I was told, “If she believes she is innocent of the citations, she has the right to address her concerns during the judicial process.”
Kristy Hernandez (dash-cam video): “Mommy learned her lesson. Keep quiet.”
Even though Howard said Kristy had the right to tell the police officer she didn’t like the way he was doing his job, she says she probably should have kept her opinion to herself.
But she says there is no doubt what the officer did to her was wrong.
Kristy Hernandez: “What you’re doing is really not protecting and serving. You are just protecting and serving yourself because someone caught you doing something wrong.”
And now Kristy has another concern. She says the school principal told her he was not happy that she was talking to Help Me Howard about the five citations from the school police officer. She is worried about retaliation. We’ll keep an eye on her and be with her in court when she goes in to get the tickets and the charges against her thrown out.
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