AURORA, Ill. (CBS) — An attack over his disabled parking space has an Aurora man looking at about four grand in damages.
He said it’s not the first time he’s been confronted by drivers who say he doesn’t look like he needs his parking placard.
Reynaldo Ortiz was parked outside a Mariano’s in Aurora when he said a group of people yelled at him for taking a disabled parking spot.
He made it into the store, but he walked outside to much worse.
A deep key scratch wraps all the way around his car.
“This is $4,000 worth of damage to my car,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz walked CBS 2’s Tara Molina through what happened in the Mariano’s parking lot after he parked in an accessible spot.
“I get out of the car and I start walking into the store and I hear a bunch of people yelling, and I turn around to see, what are they yelling at? Turns out it was me,” Ortiz said.
He said they told him he didn’t look handicapped and questioned why he was parking there.
“I didn’t know that handicap has a look,” he said.
Ortiz said he went inside before returning to the parking lot.
“Something told me you need to go back and check,” Ortiz said. “I went back outside and I see the guy going around my car keying it and taking pictures of it.”
When the man saw him, Reynaldo says he drove off, so he followed in his car and called Aurora police.
“This is the third time it’s happened and … this can’t just be happening to me,” Ortiz said.
CBS 2 took his story to Bill Bogdan, the Disability Liaison with the Secretary of State’s Office.
“People have to keep in mind that not all disabilities are visible,” Bogdan said. “A prime example could be somebody with a severe heart condition.”
In Reynaldo’s case, he’s had six knee surgeries and a hip surgery.
“We always advocate that people never take the law into their own hands,” Bogdan said.
There’s a website where residents can report what they believe to be misuse of a placard, without confronting a driver.
But Reynaldo has another message tonight.
“Have some compassion,” Ortiz said. “Just let people be.”
Aurora police arrested the man who confessed to keying Reynaldo’s car. He’s been charged with criminal damage.