GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County mother said a man used a knife to damage her car because he thought she parked in a handicapped parking spot illegally.
Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson was in Buford, where Syreeta Mack parked outside of a Walmart on Saturday. Her handicap placard was displayed but not hanging down entirely, Mack told Johnson. Mack recently had back surgery.
Her dashboard camera recorded a man, later identified as 61-year-old James Michael Fay, circling her car while it was parked in the spot with her 2-year-old and 16-year-old daughters inside.
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At one point, Fay pulled out a knife and scratched Mack’s car.
Mack’s daughter was inside the car filming the man damaging her car. She said after her daughter sent her the video, she confronted him inside the store and called 911.
Video shows the confrontation unfold.
“There’s no tag,” Fay tells her.
“Yes, I do have a tag,” Mack argues.
“There’s no tag,” Fay says again.
“Yes, there is a tag on my car,” Mack insists.
Police arrested Fay and charged him with misdemeanor criminal trespass damage.
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Mack said she hopes his arrest sends a message.
“People need to mind the business that pays them,” Mack said. “If you feel like someone is doing something illegal, call the police. You don’t have to step in and be a vigilante, because you can end up being a perp instead.”
Fay bonded out of jail the same day.
Johnson visited Fay’s home to get his side of the story.
Fay said he never saw the placard.
“Do you think that gave you the right to damage her car?” Johnson asked. “If she was parked illegally, then yes,” Fay responded.
“I mean, you couldn’t leave a note?” Johnson asked. “And what would the note have done?” Fay replied.
Fay said he did learn from his arrest.
“And I will not be doing that ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever again,” Fay said.
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