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Car towed after workers turn legal parking spot into handicapped space

Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:51 PM ET

A student in Tel Aviv parked her car on Sunday in a legal, unmarked space.

But when Hila Ben Baruch returned, her car was gone, and her spot was marked with a handicapped symbol.

In disbelief, Ben Baruch did some amateur sleuthing, recovering security footage from a camera mounted on the building across the street. The now-viral video, which Ben Baruch posted on her Facebook page, shows city workers painting lines around her parked car, towing it away and then painting a handicapped symbol in the empty spot.

"I have parked on that street for nearly half a year, (I live there) and know well where I can and can’t park,” she wrote in Hebrew on her Facebook page. "While the car was parked in a white-and-blue (legal) zone, two city hall workers arrived and began painting a handicapped space around the car!”

Ben Baruch said she was called a liar by a city employee after telling her side of the story. She was also told she would have to pay a 350-shekel ($95) towing fee and a 1,000-shekel ($271) ticket for parking in a handicapped space.

"That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Ben Baruch wrote on Facebook. "I didn’t know whether I should cry or scream.''

City officials promptly apologized after seeing the video, returning her car and waiving the towing fee and parking fine. Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Asaf Zamir told The Times of Israel that the workers were supposed to contact the parking inspectors' office to inform them that Ben Baruch's car had been legally parked in the space before they painted it to re-designate it as a handicapped spot.

Ben Baruch said Tuesday that she is still contemplating suing the city, according to The Times of Israel.

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