Frank Roder of Winfield Park, New Jersey took his son to a nearby river to feed the ducks. The SUV came to a stop on a steep embankment, and Roder’s impatient 5-year-old son jumped out and started sprinting toward a ledge that was about 35 feet above the river.
Roder immediately leaped out of the SUV and chased down his son just a few feet from the edge. If he had taken so much as a second to set the parking brake, his son almost certainly would have plunged to his death. Instead, his Jeep Cherokee went tumbling over the edge and embedded itself in the river.
"When something like that happens so fast, I could give a rat's a** about the car," Roder later told the local Fox affiliate.
As in so many other tragic situations, the police soon arrived and immediately made matters worse. After briefly chatting with Roder — who was still clinging to his son — one officer issued the traumatized father two tickets, one for failure to produce his insurance card, which was in the glove compartment of his ruined vehicle, and another for failure to set his parking brake.
The officious jerk who wrote the tickets chastised Roder for not setting the brake. He also said that if Roder’s child had fallen into the river instead of the Jeep, Roder would have been arrested for child endangerment.
The Union County Police Department describes itself as "a pro-active law enforcement agency ... provid[ing] a full spectrum of law enforcement and protection services.... Our police department’s foremost responsibility is providing for the general health, safety and welfare of all our residents within the territorial boundaries of the County of Union."
This is a lie, of course: The "foremost responsibility" of that department — like every other of its kind — is to enforce the will of the political clique that employs it at the expense of the productive population.
Union County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska admitted to Fox News that his officers "have some discretion about when and when not to write a ticket," but insisted that he couldn't "second-guess" his officer's opportunistic act of mulcting a father who had chosen to save his son and lose his SUV, rather than complying with a government edict at the expense of his child's life.
"It probably could have gone either way," Vaniska maintained. "I can't comment on the discretionary practices of an officer, but certainly, the fellow will have an opportunity to tell his story in court."
What a generous concession: Unlike Vaniska and the rest of his tax-fattened department, Roden actually works for a living, and will have to set aside productive time in order to deal with the extortion notes he was handed by one of Vaniska's underlings.
Roden's court date is May 30. Hopefully he will challenge the tickets in order to give public exposure to the uniformed, tax-gathering cretin who took advantage of his near-tragedy.