Police said a 41-year-old Washington man was arrested yesterday in connection with an incident in which a car that police had immobilized with a tire boot was hauled away with a tow truck.
The man was identified as Roger Allyn Johnson, an electronics engineer, of 2329 Virginia Ave. NW. Johnson's wife talked with reporters later and told a tale of frustration and annoyance in which her husband was ticketed for parking in his own driveway and sought unsuccessfully to pay his tickets.
Last Saturday, she said, her husband bought a tow truck for $425.
According to police officials, boots are attached to cars that have accumulated four or more unpaid parking tickets. Police said Johnson's car had been ticketed five times, for fines totaling $90.
In an interview yesterday, Mrs. Johnson said delivery trucks often take up all the parking spaces in front of her house and when her husband parks in his driveway, which is shorter than the car, the rear of the car protrudes over the sidewalk.
There were complaints and the car was ticketed, she said. Police said the boot was attached last week.
Her husband attempted to pay his tickets and free the car, Mrs. Johnson said, but on two occasions found the payment lines so long that a four-hour wait would have been required. Her husband said he couldn't wait, Mrs. Johnson told a reporter.
On Saturday afternoon, she said, two days before he planned to leave for California to visit his mother, he bought a two truck.
At about 4:20 a.m. yesterday morning, police said, a General Services Administration guard saw a man attaching a tow truck to a black 1973 Mercedes-Benz in the 2300 block of Virginia Avenue NW. The car had a boot on it, police said. The guard called police.
When officer Andrew J. Genua arrived, the car and the tow truck were gone, police said. They said Genua and the GSA guard began to search the area.
Police said they found the car and the tow truck in the 100 block of 33d Street NW. They said the boot was still clamped on a wheel of the car.
Johnson was arrested about two blocks away, in the 100 block of Wisconsin Avenue, NW, police said.
According to a police arrest record, Johnson was charged with larceny from the D.C. government (one tire boot). At his arraignment in Superior Court yesterday the charge was reduced to petty larceny and Johnson pleaded not guilty, his lawyer said.
Johnson was released on personal bond pending a May 3 trial date. He declined to comment to reporters.