ATLANTA — Alvin Spencer told Channel 2 Action News reporter Jodie Fleischer that he can’t believe the punishment he received for walking in the street to avoid a sidewalk hole filled with water.“Twelve months probation and a $227 fine,” said Spencer.Spencer took pictures and showed Fleischer how rain easily accumulates inside the sidewalk hole along Memorial Drive in east Atlanta.”The majority of people walk on the side of the street. You don’t have a choice unless you’re going to walk in the water or the mud,” said Spencer.Spencer said the city has been using a fallen street sign as a makeshift cover for the sidewalk hole.”The city needs to do their part right because this is wrong …that’s wrong,” said Spencer.Spencer said the Atlanta police officer who wrote the ticket didn’t even look at the sidewalk’s condition.”He said, ‘Tell it to the judge,’ so that’s what I did … and she said ‘$227.’ I got to do something about this,” said Spencer.After going to Atlanta City Hall and not getting a response, Spencer contacted WSB-TV.”What they want you to do … walk in the hole?” said a passer-by who stopped to give his opinion. “That’s got to be crazy … I’m not going to walk in the hole.”It turns out, the passer-by is related to the developer of a nearby construction project that might have caused the damage.”Do you need to repair that sidewalk? No, DeKalb County does that,” said a woman with Citiheart Developers. She later corrected herself to say she’d call the city of Atlanta and report the hole.”I’m going to look into it,” she said.“And if they won’t, will you fix it?” asked Fleischer.“Absolutel y; that’s what I do — construction. I’m not going leave a hole there,” she said.Spencer hopes it gets fixed quickly, so no one else ends up in his legal hole, or worse.”How dangerous it is, somebody could get hurt very seriously,” said Spencer.
Fleischer contacted the Atlanta Police Department. It confirmed the incident but wouldn’t go on camera until it talks with the officer involved.
Spencer’s probation will be suspended if he pays the $227 fine, but so far, he has refused to do that.
How can you blame the people for turning to crime to survive hard times when our government does the same?