Oh, Henry!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I was jailed for a day last month after walking my dog without a leash last fall in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill. That much has been reported in the Washington Examiner, on the radio and on the Web.

Here are the details, and how it felt from my perspective.

First, I was in the wrong. By walking Henry, a Hungarian vizsla, leashless on the evening of Nov. 15, I broke the law. I am not disputing that.

And, yes, that evening I did tell the man who issued the ticket, U.S. Park Police Officer Stephen Smith, that he might want to check on the errant squirrels at the other end of the park.

Still, I had 15 days in which to pay the $25 ticket. When I attempted to do so, the situation spun out of control.

· The information printed on the back of the ticket said I could pay at a substation on E Street SE. But the ticket was wrong, as such tickets have been for at least six years.

· I tried to pay at Park Police headquarters, but the hours are limited, and I couldn't reach anyone.

· The ticket said that I could pay by mail, but it offered no further details.

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