Driving ban for Kelowna woman who parked in handicapped spot, hit bylaw officer with car


KELOWNA – A West Kelowna woman’s pleas for mercy were ignored by a Kelowna judge who sentenced her to a fine and six-month driving prohibition for hitting a bylaw officer with her car when he tried to have her towed from a handicapped parking stall last year.

Theresa Ann Chomsky, who appeared without legal representation, was arrested and charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle after she hit a Kelowna bylaw officer on Bernard Avenue last November.

Chomsky denies she was parked in a handicapped stall on a busy Saturday night around 7 p.m. and says she came out of a coffee shop when she saw a bylaw officer putting a ticket on her window.

Witnesses disagreed what happened next.

A friend of Chomsky testified the officer was behaving aggressively and Chomsky said she felt threatened and carefully but quickly left the scene.

The bylaw officer, who was not injured, says she leapt into the driver’s seat and sped away, almost hitting another vehicle and clipping him in the leg with her bumper. At least two witnesses said they saw Chomsky arguing with the officer before speeding away, saw the bumper come into contact with his leg and her driving off at high speed. One of the witnesses described her actions as “frantic.”

Chomsky testified that she merely asked “are you giving me a ticket?” in a “curious way” when she saw the officer ticketing her vehicle and that she wasn't, in fact, even in a handicapped spot.

Judge Ellen Burdett found Chomsky guilty of dangerous driving and sentenced her to a fine of $250 and a six month driving prohibition.

“Her manner of driving endangered the public,” she said. “This is not a matter of simple carelessness or momentary lack of attention. In my view you have not and will not appreciate the seriousness of your actions that night.”

Chomsky said she intends to appeal.

”I’m the only victim here,” she said. “What needs to be protected is the public from corrupt bylaw officers and pirate tow truck drivers. This has been a gross fabrication. I don’t care if there were 100 witnesses. I know what happened.”

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