Winnipeg police dispute senior's cellphone ticket claim
Winnipeg police are disputing a senior's claim that he got ticketed for talking on a cellphone while driving, even though he does not own a cellphone.
Laszlo Piszker and his wife, Margaret, were pulled over by two city police officers in the 2500 block of Portage Avenue on Friday.
Piszker, 74, was handed a $199.80 ticket for talking on a cellphone while driving.
On Monday, Piszker told CBC News he is so technically challenged, he wouldn't know how to operate a cellphone even if he had one.
But in a statement issued late Tuesday, the Winnipeg Police Service said its review of the case has uncovered information that is "contradictory to the information that has been depicted in the local media."
According to police, the two officers were driving down Portage Avenue when they saw, from about two metres away, a male driver holding a cellphone to his ear.
The officers turned on their cruiser's emergency lights and followed the vehicle for several blocks before it pulled over, according to police.
'That's not right'
But Piszker told CBC News on Tuesday that the police service's version of events is incorrect.
"That's not right. That never happened," he said.
"I've never been on the phone, and they didn't follow me several blocks like what they said. That's not correct."
When asked why he thinks the police would be saying otherwise, Piszker replied, "They don't want to back down because they look like [a] bunch of idiots.
"Those two cops … they just wanted to give that ticket to somebody, come hell or high water," he said.
The Winnipeg Police Service said it would not comment any further on the case, as "the proper forum to contest an offence notice is in a provincial court," the statement said.
Piszker said when he and Margaret went to a nearby police station to complain about the traffic ticket, the attending officer laughed and suggested the ticket was likely issued in order to fill a quota.
Piszker vowed to fight the ticket to the end.
Winnipeg police have come under fire recently for what many motorists believe is a push to issue more traffic tickets.
Earlier on Tuesday, the union that represents the city's police officers said the ticket push will hurt the relationship between police and the public, as well as divert police resources from responding to more serious crimes.