By Jeff Skrzypek
EUGENE, Ore. — A judge has acquitted Ben Bond in a trial that accused him of intimidating and obstructing the work of a parking enforcer.
Just a little more than two months ago, Ben Bond was arrested for aggressively plugging parking meters. And though his trial is over, the public is learning more about what happened the day the whole meter controversy started.
“I stuck to my story the whole time,” said Ben Bond. “I believe that our testimony was righteous.”
The parking enforcement officer involved argued otherwise Thursday in a Eugene Municipal Court. She described Bond as confrontational and said he prevented her from fulfilling her meter maid duties.
“He said I’m going to keep you from doing your job, giving people tickets, I have change,” said Maria Velasquez. “I was scared.”
Velasquez said Bond called her names and used profanity as he followed her around filling expired parking meters. The testimony came as a big surprise to bond who said his only goal was to prevent other drivers from being ticketed.
“I thought what they brought to court was shocking to me,” said Bond. “I was very shocked to hear some of the statements I supposedly said.”
Eugene city prosecutor, Dan Barkovic said either way, even if Bond actually uttered the words Velasquez said he did, the city couldn’t prove that Bond was doing anything but feeding meters.
“It’s true, as she admitted, the defendant didn’t threaten to commit a particular crime against her,” said Barkovic.
He said because of an Oregon Court of Appeals case from the 1980s that was applied by Bond’s defense attorney, there needed to be proof that a threat to commit a crime had been made.
But Bond, even after a stressful trial said he’d do it all over again.
“I’ll still help out my neighbor,” said Bond. “If the person next to me has an expired meter, of course I’m going to help them out.”
The acquittal in the trial means this is the end of the case and the city does not have option to appeal the ruling. It means the two month parking meter saga is finally over.