John Kass in the Chicago Tribune brings us the story of Sam Hardison, the window cleaner charged with "sleeping dangerously" on the Chicago subway:
"I looked the officer right in the eye and said, 'You've got to be kidding. I have to go to court on this?' And he said, 'Yes, you do,'" Hardison, a West Sider, told us the other day about his June 5 ticket on the Red Line....
"And the other officer said, 'If you don't be quiet, we will take you to jail right now. We'll arrest you,'" Hardison said. "I let them write their citations. I felt that it was not right, but what can I do?"
Apparently City Hall is hard up and looking to extract cash from innocent bystanders. Fines are a good way to do it because, as Kass says, most people who receive a fine just grumble and pay it. Not Hardison, who instead went to a hearing to dispute the charge.
The City dropped the case today, but Hardison complains that he lost a day's wages to attend the hearing. And his friends have another theory as to why he, of all the other comatose subway riders, was picked up:
"Absolutely, absolutely, if you look at him, you might think he was homeless, a black guy with a pretty scraggily beard," Dahl said. "If it was me, a short Jewish guy, sleeping on the train, they are not going to write me a ticket."
Which would suggest that either City Hall is demanding money from homeless people or it's spending money to kick them off the subway.