Florida beachgoer fined $500 for not returning parking boot on time: 'It was awful'

A trip to the beach on the Space Coast turned into a $500 bill for one beachgoer.

This was an all-around unfortunate situation for local resident Kathy Parsons. The first issue was that she thought she had paid to park at one of the kiosks but somehow messed that up and returned to a booted car in the parking lot. She paid $80 to remove the boot but didn’t know there was a timeline to return it at one of the drop-offs. Missing that deadline cost her $500 for 15 minutes at the beach.

"It was awful. I was like, I cannot believe this. $500 is gone out of my account," said Parsons. 

Getting booted was just the beginning of Parsons's problems. 

"I didn’t realize I had to return it immediately," she said. 

Kathy says another beachgoer helped her take the boot off her car.

"I got someone to help me release it, and I put it in my trunk," said the beachgoers. 

She was booted in a lot without a receptacle. Out of 10 paid parking lots in Satellite Beach, only two have drop-offs. Kathy says she was already late for an out-of-town trip and decided to return the boot when she got back the next day. She says she learned a "hard lesson" when she saw a bill in her email showing a $500 charge on her credit card from the parking company. 

"You’re giving them your credit card to get unbooted, and they have it. Then they’ll charge you," said Parsons. 

"That’s crazy. They’re stealing from us," said another beachgoer who heard Parsons's story at the beach. 


FOX 35 News went to the parking company office in South Patrick Shores to find out the policy regarding returning the boot and ask about drop-off spots. The general manager wouldn’t talk on camera but did answer our questions.

He says customers have 24 hours to return the boot to two drop-off locations, and at this time, they are not looking to increase the number of spots where people can return the boot.

Because of what happened to Parsons, she’s scared to go to the beach. 

"I don’t want to get booted again, and we’ve seen him drive around, just waiting. That’s how quick it can happen," she said. 

She’s sharing her story to try and save other people's stress and money. 

"Maybe the awareness that you’re bringing to it now, people will realize that if you get booted, take it back right away," Parsons concluded. 

The two locations where you can drop off the boot are Pelican Park and Hightower Beach East. If you are parked in another lot, you need to find a way to get the boot in your car and drive it back to one of these spots, so you don’t get charged a late fee.