Man takes it upon himself to police parking

Handicap parking

Abel Cortez, Jr. is a retired Air Force Chief master sergeant, but these days he's the self proclaimed parking patrol.

"I have confronted people about it and they tell me to mind my own business."

Cortez is fed up with people taking advantage of handicapped parking spaces just to save themselves a few steps.

"They are abusing it."

We set out to find perpetrators in the Harlingen area.

There a few cars parking in handicapped spots without any placard or license plate designation.

But these drivers aren't the only ones who anger Cortez.

"They use the card and it doesn't belong to them, and they are 20-year-old TMs parking in the handicap spot and jumping off to go in the store."

According to Harlingen police, the problem isn't widespread enough for them to set up any kind of stings to catch people breaking the law and they've only had a few calls about it which are considered low priority.

They also tell us they cannot and will not question a driver who has a placard in their vehicle but doesn't appear to be handicap because as long as they are displaying the state issued permit, they are free to park in the designated spaces.

"There needs to be more policing, but it's hard and even though there is a fine people don't think they will get in trouble for it."

Cortez is not handicapped and said he's looking out for those that are and physically must park near the business they wish to enter.

He said if police won't do much about it then it lies in the hands of drivers.

"There needs to be more integrity. These mothers and fathers are teaching their children that it is okay to do this."

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