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City Drops Harassment Charge in Eugene Parking Meter Case

January 27, 2010

By Heather Hintze

EUGENE, Ore. — The attorney for Ben Bond says the City of Eugene has dropped harassment charges stemming from a confrontation with a meter maid.

Bond was set to appear in court Thursday to face a harassment charge and an obstruction of justice charge stemming from his arrest on January 13.

Bond’s story sparked a public outcry. Many people were upset with the city after Bond was arrested following a confrontation he had with a parking control officer.

Bond says he tried to plug a stranger’s expired meter to save them from getting a ticket. He says when the officer ticketed the car anyway, he had an exchange of words with her and then began plugging other meters in front of the 5th Street Public Market. The officer called 9-1-1, and police arrested and fined Bond for over $800.

“It’s not uncommon for a charge to initially be made by the police and then end up with a different charge being presented in court or at least one of the charges being dropped. So, I don’t think that should be held against the city,” said Bill Wiswall, Bond’s Attorney.

As for the obstruction of justice, Bond’s attorney, Wiswall says the city prosecutor hasn’t decided whether that will be charged as a violation or a misdemeanor. If Bond is charged with a misdemeanor, his case would then go to a jury trial.

Wiswall says Bond’s hearing on that charge is scheduled for February 4.

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