SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio-- A police parking lot is one of the last places you would expect someone to break the law.
But South Euclid police say one of their surveillance cameras captured video of a lawbreaker pulling into the department’s parking lot just before 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, and crashing into a handicapped parking sign.
The driver, identified as a 29-year-old man, was then caught on video getting out of his car and placing the sign in his backseat.
South Euclid Police Chief Kevin Nietert told FOX 8, "I think what happened is when he pulled in, he knocked over the sign and it's kind of like one of those 'oh' moments you know, and he figured 'well, I'm going to pick this sign up, I’ll stick in in the car; nobody will notice.’"
The video shows that once the man had the handicapped sign in his car, he replaced it with an orange traffic cone he pulled from the back seat, and placed an umbrella in the cone.
"I think it's pretty comical, all things taken into consideration, that he would even have a traffic cone in his car, and to think 'well, you know , I'm going to stick an umbrella in the top of this traffic cone, just to make sure that everybody can see you know that the traffic cone is here,’” said Chief Nietert.
It turns out the man's timing could not have been worse.
The video shows that he was still in the parking lot, with the handicapped sign in the back seat of his car, when a police officer pulled into the lot.
The surveillance video reveals that in full view of the officer, the man pulled the sign from his backseat and attempted to put it back in the spot in the parking lot where he has placed the traffic cone and umbrella.
The officer realized that something unusual was going on, detained the suspect and was eventually able to establish how the strange chain of events unfolded.
"They really pieced this together via video and what they witnessed when they pulled into the parking lot,” said Chief Nietert.
Investigators determined that the man's odd behavior was more than likely the result of narcotics that he ingested, and he was taken by life squad to the emergency room.
According to a police report, the suspect was issued a criminal citation for theft.