Woman Cited For Helping Elderly Couple Found Not Guilty

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Annam Ighneim never thought stopping to help two elderly people the day before Thanksgiving would land her inside a Cleveland Municipal Courtroom facing an impeding traffic charge.

“I am not like a bad woman, who stops traffic,” Ighneim told the judge Tuesday.

Ighneim and her attorney, Paul Cristallo, told visiting Judge Mable Jasper that she received the ticket Nov. 27 after stopping on Lorain to help an elderly couple get inside a car.

She said a car had stopped in front of her to give the couple a ride. They were struggling getting inside the vehicle, so her passenger got out to help.

“We were helping to put people inside the car. They were very old and freezing,” Ighneim said.  “I told Amy to give them a few bucks I had left over so they could get something to eat.”

But Cleveland Patrol Officer Matthew Slatkovsky said by stopping her vehicle, Ighneim backed up traffic on a very busy roadway.

“I was in the right hand line, light was green, traffic did not move and someone in front of me honked their horn,” Statkovsky said.

Ighneim said she couldn’t move until the car in front of her started driving. The officer said he didn’t see another car blocking Ighneim’s vehicle.

He testified he was “six to seven” cars behind her's when the traffic was first backed up.

After hearing all the evidence, the judge found Ighneim not guilty, saying she had reasonable doubt that Ighneim impeded traffic. The decision brought a round of applause from the crowded courtroom.

Ighneim said she is thankful for the judge’s decision and has no resentment toward the officer.

“I support, policemen, teachers, everybody, and I wish him luck with his family,” Ighneim said.

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  • Rosemarie

    May have been nice if he would have helped the elderly couple into the car,, May have helped get traffic moving.

  • Bones

    This is a typical classic case of “Blue Knight” stupidity. Put a badge on them and they go whack job. Instead of “PROTECT & SERVE,” its lets go play bully and harass. What should have happened is the cop after assessing the situation should have offer to assist, or direct traffic for the safety of the kindly person and the elderly couple. Instead the Blue Knight flashes his badge and a ticket book to show the is the BMC and nobody better mess with him. In all fairness this happens all the time no matter what city you live. Do you remember 60 cop cars, 137 shell casings and to dead people. I rest my case!

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