ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Daniel Eugene Bracewell, 34, is out of jail on bond after Orlando Police say they caught him illegally using a disabled parking placard in the heart of Downtown Orlando. It's a growing trend, officers say, and people like disabled veteran Jose Diaz are sick of it.
"It makes me upset because I know I need it," said Diaz who suffers knee and lower back problems.
Orlando Police say it's enough of a problem that their bike patrols are focused on it.
On Tuesday, one of the bike officers saw a car parked in a disabled parking spot in front of the library. The officer says he ran the number on the hanging permit only to discover it was issued to someone born in 1945. The officer noted the man behind the wheel quote "was clearly much younger." They say when they approached the guy, it was Bracewell who admitted it was his mothers permit.
Investigators say Bracewell told them he and his mother had driven together and that she was at an apartment down the road. OPD says when they called her to the scene, she arrived in a different car and blew his alibi, insisting she "had not been with her son today and had not been dropped off in this disabled space."
This past November a young woman was arrested and charged with using another's disabled parking permit, one issued to her dead grandmother. Diaz says it's goes beyond being dishonest.
"It hurts me. Sometimes I see people come out of a vehicle, young people and they don't have anything and they're taking my parking space. That's the way I look at it because I'm disabled and they're not (disabled)."
That is why Orlando Police say they will continue the crackdown on violators.