Local Government

Man Says He Was Choked Until He Pooped His Pants for Trying to Pay Parking Ticket With Pennies

No one is pettier than government.

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surveillance video via Fox 2

A Michigan man claims that when he tried to pay a parking ticket in Royal Oak with pennies, a court officer responded by choking him. The attack led him to defecate, he says.

The alleged assault was caught on surveillance tape. An attorney for Anthony Sevo says he intends to sue. Sevo was charged with disturbing the peace and assaulting an officer. He plead no contest on the first charge and the latter was dropped.

"I don't think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it's a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of this assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights," the lawyer told Fox's Detroit affiliate.

The ticket was for just $10. Sevo said he was willing to pay with a credit card, but balked at the processing fee of $1.75—17.5 percent of his fine. By comparison, a 2013 settlement between credit card companies and businesses limited the "swipe fee" merchants could charge to 4 percent.

If Royal Oak officials are worried about an influx of coin payers, it can buy an industrial coin counter for about $400. Otherwise, for the occasional coin payment far cheaper options are available.

Coin and currency are legal tender for debts, public charges, and taxes. In Pennsylvania a few years ago, one small town learned that the federal regulation it was invoking to reject coin payments had in fact expired half a century earlier.

As petty as trying to pay a $10 fine in pennies might be (and as far as paying with pennies goes, that's relatively mild—this year a Virginia man tried to pay $3,000 worth of car taxes in pennies), the government's actions are pettier. But why would anyone expect any different? The residents of Royal Oak don't have a choice of government. Sure, they can vote every few years, but the local bureaucracies remain in place irrespective of who wins.

The 44th District Court, where the incident happened, doesn't have to worry about customer service because there's no competitive pressure. Whether or not you're satisfied with them, you're going to have to pay your fines there, and take it.

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59 responses to “Man Says He Was Choked Until He Pooped His Pants for Trying to Pay Parking Ticket With Pennies

  1. But why would anyone expect any different? The residents of Royal Oak don’t have a choice of government. Sure, they can vote every few years, but the local bureaucracies remain in place irrespective of who wins.

    There’s some cogent analysis. WTG, Ed.

  2. In before Citizen X shows up and says this is no big deal because he used to choke himself until he pooped his pants every weekend in college.

    1. That only happened, like, twice.

      1. Twice every weekend or twice in college?

        1. He only went to college twice.

  3. An attorney for Anthony Sevo says he intends to sue.

    >_>

    1. I saw that too. I saw that too…

      1. I wonder how many rhetorical turds he was able to get out before the literal turds started to flow.

    2. Well. I guess Sevo…

      *removes glasses*

      …is their bitch.

      1. [Dons diaper, grabs bag of pennies, heads out the door.]

    3. Go fuck your daddy MJ Green.

  4. As petty as trying to pay a $10 fine in pennies might be…, the government’s actions are pettier.

    “Pettier”? He was assaulted!

  5. limited the “swipe fee” merchants could charge to 4 percent.

    Which is some bullshit, because that means it’s just cost the merchant has to eat themselves. It doesn’t say anything about how much the credit card companies can charge to the merchants (not that that should be handled via law either).

    1. But I think that the situation before the agreement was that merchants weren’t allowed to charge a swipe fee at all.

    2. With local small businessmen I deal with regularly, I make a habit of paying them in cash or paper check (it feels sooo archaic) to help them avoid these fees. As recognition of that and being a loyal customer, I have some pretty good discounts at the local feed store.

  6. I laughed when I saw this headline.

    Yes, it’s horrible, but how often do you see headlines that include both the terms “pooped his pants” and “parking ticket”?

  7. Paying in pennies is funny. Pooping is funny. Yet I’m enraged about this.

    Ten bucks in pennies is fine, slavers. DEAL WITH IT

  8. Good on Sevy for filing suit knowing full well that this is what people are going to find when they Google him now.

  9. Ed, I hope you realize that your alt-text means that he commit suicide.

  10. BTW, a refusal to accept payment of a debt, extinguishes the debt. No ifs ands or buts about that.

    1. This is a maxim of law.

  11. Pennies are a crappy way to pay at the grocery store but it’s the perfect way to pay government fines

  12. A Michigan man claims that when he tried to pay a parking ticket in Royal Oak with pennies, a court officer responded by choking him. The attack led him to defecate, he says.

    This seems like it would be pretty effective. Nobody wants to choke a pooping dude.

      1. This is where Crusty got the expression “It’s like trying to choke a chinchilla into constipation.”

  13. You missed the part where they charged him with assault even though the video shows they assaulted him. Naturally.

    1. Hopefully they charge him with resisting arrest as well for when they pummeled his unconscious, shit covered, body.

      1. The video is pretty egregious. The guy is walking out of the building and the officer walks out after him and chokes him from behind, and then starts slamming him up against the glass walls. The guy had no idea it was coming.

        1. The ironic thing is that is that citizen does not have to accept payment in pennies from the municipality after he wins the lawsuit.

          According to the Coinage act, only government agencies and creditors have to accept coins as legal tender.

          1. This guy made the unfortunate decision to plead no contest to a disturbing the peace charge. I think that’s going to make his lawsuit quite a bit harder. Of course, that’s one of the reasons why these goons bring charges in the first place.

            1. Yup. You cannot demand change if you agree to being enslaved.

              1. It looks like he was paying in exact change and probably didn’t demand any at all.

    2. THE PENNIES WERE COMING RIGHT AT ME

    3. “If I touch you-you are touching me…”

      1. This was in response to:
        You missed the part where they charged him with assault even though the video shows they assaulted him. Naturally

  14. What a lucky duck! I had to pay $200 for that exact service this weekend!

    1. I never pay more than $50. I don’t need a hotel room.

      1. Doing it out in the street is half the appeal. The other half is, of course, the choking and shitting.

        1. That’s like three halfs!

    2. Is that a roll of pennies in your pocket (that you intend to pay with) or are you just enjoying the services?

    3. Do you pay your whores with penny rolls too?

  15. Sure, they can vote every few years, but the local bureaucracies remain in place irrespective of who wins.

    It’s kind of genius when you think about it.

  16. It would have been a coup de grace if this guys pooped some pennies and dropped them out of his pant legs onto the floor.

    1. More like the poop de grace, am I right?

      1. I laffed way too hard at that. How hard, you ask? Wel….

      2. ^This guy gets it.

  17. A better question is, why is every payment to the government NOT paid in pennies? I know exactly how I’m dealing with my next speeding ticket.

  18. This is the Sevo isn’t it? I have an intuition about people and I always saw him as incontinent.

    1. I thought our Sevo was elderly and from California.

  19. When I was about 15 and had taken the bus to a record shop (remember those days)-all I had left to get home was mostly pennies and probably much less than the fare. I remember literally emptying my pockets into the fare collector and the bus driver gave a look that he wanted to choke me. In this day and age, he probably would have called the cops.

  20. Doesn’t everybody keep a noose over their commode?

  21. If this guy doesn’t take them to court for at least $1 million dollars, he’s an idiot.

  22. this year a Virginia man tried to pay $3,000 worth of car taxes in pennies

    According to the link, it looks like he didn’t just “try,” he succeeded. He’s my hero now.

  23. So I guess the lesson here is….If you are paying for your ticket in pennies…take a dump first!

  24. The only surprising thing about this is that there is such a thing as a ten dollar parking ticket. In Albany NY it’s fifty. Trust me.

  25. > Coin and currency are legal tender for debts, public charges, and taxes

    It is a maxim of law that “a debt tendered is a debt paid.” If he had a witness, then he’d get to resolve this in a federal court as the plaintiff, and that’s where you always want to be.

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