Angry Judge Gets Caught Flattening Tire of Handicap Van

(I was bored and tired of listening to the election results, so I decided to move this “Court Case Friday” article to Thursday.)

Over the years, I have presided over dozens of parking-lot-rage cases.  Fortunately, most of these cases were minor misdemeanors.

I remember a high-publicity parking-lot-rage case that occurred a long time ago.  It involved a judge. (No, it wasn’t me.)

A judge rushed back to court after lunch only to find a van parked in his reserved parking space. This had happened several times before, and the judge was livid. 

After parking in a space farther away, the judge marched to the office of the court administrator and demanded that the van be towed.  The judge then stormed back to the parking lot and let the air out of the van’s front right tire, where the driver wouldn’t notice. 

Come to find out the van was a special handicap van.  The driver was a paraplegic.  The driver called the police to report the vandalism, and the judge got caught.


The episode generated a ton of bad publicity and scores of hostile letters to the editor. The judge was reported to the California Commission on Judicial Performance. The judge had a stellar record. After he completed a course, and personally counseling, in anger management, he received a public reprimand, which will remain on his record forever.

(Other “Court Cases” at: or

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