Letter to the editor: Family enjoys beautiful nighttime Encinitas coastline, then gets ticket

I normally wouldn’t write a letter to the editor about receiving a parking ticket, but given the current state of police-community relations in our country, I can’t resist sharing what happened to my husband and I on a recent outing to Moonlight Beach.

On our way home from dinner with our kids and grandson, we decided to stop at Moonlight Beach to take in the beauty of our coastline. We parked and stood in front of the car watching the waves, then decided to walk up to the viewing point above the cul-de-sac to see if we could spot the full moon.

We’d not been away from our car more than a few minutes when we saw two sheriff cars pull into the cul-de-sac. My husband and I immediately made our way down, not wanting to be in the mix of some potential crime scene.

As we got closer to our car, we noticed the deputy looked to be writing us a ticket. My husband called out as we approached. The deputy ignored him. When we got to the deputy, we asked why we were being cited. The deputy said nothing and didn’t once look at us, rather walked to the front of the car and snapped the ticket under our windshield wiper, then walked away while pointing at the sign and said (with his back to us), “No parking after 10 p.m.”

We plead guilty to not reading the parking sign. But when a 69-year-old member of the community addresses a 30-something member of our sheriff’s department and the sheriff can’t even bother to turn around and address the person he’s paid to “protect and serve” in a civil manner, then something is wrong with our policing. We’re not Baltimore or Ferguson. We’re sleepy Encinitas, and yet we too have the problem of police who think that we citizens work for them rather than the other way around.

As an aside to Encinitas City Council Members: I realize Encinitas is not New York, the city that never sleeps, and your intent is to prevent overnight camping at the beach, but isn’t 10 p.m. a little early to close down parking? I can imagine a tourist parking there and after a brief still to take in the beauty, finding a parking ticket on their car. That scenario wouldn’t be great for public relations.

Also, out of curiosity, I went a few nights later and parked near the cul-de-sac, and there again were the sheriff deputies on their beat, writing tickets at 10:30. Seems like “protect and serve” should be changed to “protect, serve, and ‘fill the coffers.’”


Amy Roost