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Martin Vasquez, a downtown pedicab driver, appeared before the San Diego City Council on June 15 to give his side of the story regarding the impounding of his pedicab by the San Diego police.

On May 15, while traveling north on Fifth Avenue, Vasquez said that he was stopped by a police officer on motorcycle. He was then told by the officer that he was not supposed to be driving the pedicab because his permit was suspended. According to Vasquez, he informed the officer that he had received a written notice that his suspension had been lifted.

“He told me to pull it over because he was going to impound the pedicab for not having a valid decal,” said Vasquez. Despite telling the officer his decal was valid until the end of June 2010, Vasquez stated that his argument was met with “indifference.” Vasquez said he was then informed that his pedicab would be impounded no matter what he said. It was indicated by the policeman that they would impound his pedicab and figure it out later.

Vasquez said the police officer ignored his plea to check the municipal code on pedicab impounding and disregarded his concern for having to pay the impound fees.

“As is the custom of the San Diego Police Department, I was told to shut up,” Vasquez added.

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Pops June 17, 2010 @ 3:35 p.m.

Beginning in January of this year, all pedicab permits (both vehicle decals and operator permits) were issued on a calendar year basis, existing permit holders were required to obtain new 2010 permits that expire December 31, 2010; regardless of when your current permit was set to expire.

The 250 Restricted Zone Permits are Red decals and all expire at 12/31/2010. If you don't have one of these and you're operating in one of the restricted zones (includes most of downtown), expect to be ticketed and have your pedicab impounded.

Dale Hill Pops' Pedicabs www.popspedicabs.com>

Javajoe25 June 17, 2010 @ 11:05 p.m.

This is San Diego. The cops do whatever they want and if you don't like it, you can plead your case in court and lose. They shoot unarmed women and children while having a fit of road rage, and they are not punished. They beat citizens first and ask questions later and they know they have nothing to fear because the courts will back them no matter what they've done. I've never seen anything like this anywhere. The police shoot people who are mentally impaired and they face no consequences. It is disgraceful and leads me to believe the most dangerous people in this city are the armed and unaccountable police.

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wardearth June 19, 2010 @ 10:20 a.m.

The son of a close friend of my mother was shot by an officer in may. Basically exactly what javajoe discribed. The son (whom has some mental issues, maybe bipolar or something, I don't remember) had been arguing with his roommate and the cops were called. When the officer arrived, he and the son started to fight. The fight went to the ground, the officer came out of a headlock, got up, and shot the kid in the chest. I probably shouldn't have even wrote all this, but its just an example, the officer should have used something non-lethal.

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