‘Meter Beater’ Arrested For Weekend Parking Meter Assault

Perhaps he couldn’t take it anymore.

The quadrupled meter rates, having to the feed the meters until 9 every night, seven days a week, no free Sundays anymore, and the increased parking enforcement–perhaps it was all too much for him.

Maybe he was broke and needed some change for the bus. Maybe he just got one too many parking tickets. Or maybe he really loathed and despised that particular parking meter.

Whatever it was that drove this man to take a standard sized concrete cinder block, and repeatedly slam the meter head for ten minutes, we may never know.

The casually dressed young man in his late twenties, walked up to the parking meter, located in the 3300 block of N. Lincoln. Ave. around 1:30 Saturday afternoon and began assaulting the meter with the concrete block.

Wham! Wham! Wham! Shocked and puzzled onlookers walked and drove by while he repeatedly pummeled the crap out of the meter head and pole.

“Did the meter eat your quarter?” one bystander asked while walking by.

With a brief shake of his head, the clearly agitated man continued his punishment of the meter. Pieces of concrete continued to crack, break and chip off the main cinder block, eventually breaking it into two main pieces.

The assailant, sweating from the exertion in the relatively mild temperatures, stripped off his shirt and then redoubled his attack on the meter, using the larger of the two pieces.

Finally, after about ten minutes of this attack, a Chicago police car, with siren blaring and lights flashing raced up to the scene of the incident. Despite the approaching siren, the man continued for a few moments, but then quickly dropped his weapon and ran around the corner north, down Marshfield Ave. and into the Lakeview YMCA located at 3333 N. Marshfield.

Four squad cars descended on the scene and pursued the alleged meter beater into the YMCA.

The man, apparently a resident at the YMCA, after a brief scuffle with police,  and now sporting bruises and marks on his shirtless torso, was removed yelling from the YMCA, and into an awaiting police wagon.

“Something was definitely wrong with him,” layed off CTA worker and YMCA resident Joe said about the alleged assailant’s psychological state. “I’m a newer resident and keep to myself so I don’t really know him.”

Lakeview YMCA Executive Director Brian Page and Residence Director John Carolan, had no comment about the incident.

According to Chicago municipal law, it is illegal to damage a city parking meter.

9-80-150  Parking meters – Damage prohibited – Interference with intent to park without paying or obtain coins unlawful.

(a)     It shall be unlawful for any person to deface, injure, tamper with, open or wilfully break, destroy or impair the usefulness of any parking meter. Every person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of $250.00.

Dept. of Revenue spokesman Ed Walsh says the city is not shy about prosecuting persons who damage parking meters.

“It is considered to be serious,” says Walsh. “We’d probably view this (incident) as attempted vandalism. When it is out and out vandalism, it doesn’t occur very often and most incidents involve someone sticking something in the meter slot.”

The most incredible detail of the story is, despite ten minutes of constant battering with a 30 lb. rock, the parking meter did not break and continues to function normally at 15 minutes per quarter.

53 Responses to ‘Meter Beater’ Arrested For Weekend Parking Meter Assault

  1. buttons says:


    Take a button about the size of a nickel, though thinner, and cut off an edge with nippers or scissors. Then, place it in the meter with the rest of your change. Oops! How’d that get in there, musta been in my pocket.

    The coin won’t roll into the parking meter, and after you put another nickel in (don’t use quarters man), push it in firmly and turn the dial. It will lock up.

    BOOM, DESTROYED. Or at least, fanged up enough so the next person can park free. Do this right before you leave, or right when you get there, or any old time.

    It’s cheap and easy, quick and natural. A bag of 130 buttons is $2.50 at JoAnn’s Fabrics.

    Frack the system. It’s time these lowlifes learn we’re not going to put up with this shit. We got the billion dollars. It’s ours now. Frak you Chicago. Fock you very much.

  2. One can argue that cars are undertaxed and should be taxed high, because of how much space they take up and how much commotion they make in our city. If you stripped away every passenger car and its infrastructure from the city, you’d have only half as many cops, bike lanes down Lake Shore Drive, and CTA buses would have no excuse for not being on schedule. (Hm, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.)

    But the way Daley is going about this, and the things he spends the revenue on, are all wrong. During Daley’s tenure, what originally were just systems for deterrence or public convenience have been expanded into major revenue sources, stretched far beyond their original intent: sale and expansion of meters; meter rate increases; expansion and automation of street-cleaning ticketing, without a concomitant advance in notification systems; increased booting and towing; increased police parking- and traffic-ticket quotas; the residential parking permit system; a doubling or tripling of most traffic and parking fines; sale of the Skyway. For every one of these things, there has been virtually no public debate.

    These expansions have added major stress to owning a car in the city. Some may say that’s a good thing, but unlike New York, many Chicago neighborhoods are not universally friendly to alternate transportation. And those loopholed from the taxes include people who have the luxury of a garage or other off-street parking and those who make so much money that a $50 or $100 parking ticket doesn’t even faze them, and they’ll never see a tow or a boot regardless. The working class, on the other hand, is being killed.

    For those of us who grew up here, it wasn’t always this bad.

  3. splainer says:

    I get the cop stuff of winning every confrontation but at 60+, i usually have to use my brains and my WORDS to get things taken care of. I wonder if the squad car ( of the 4 ensuing) were the proper use of equipment or crime fighting manpower… The lights and sirens on the initial approach maybe made things.. worse. Rather than the words ” hey, You knock that off!” or ” what are you doing?” Thus engaging in a (loud) dialog resulting in an arrest. Instead by this show of power, If the guy was P.O’d, it probably made him madder if the was..”crazy” it made him more afraid…

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