YSU students get parking tickets while in lockdown


By David Skolnick

and Joe Gorman

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Finally allowed to leave Youngstown State University because of a lockdown, Chelsea Raymer, a student, left to discover a parking ticket on her car outside the Williamson College of Business.

“My friends and I were joking [during the lockdown] that we hope we don’t get a ticket,” she said. “We never thought they’d give a ticket. But I went to my car and there was a ticket.”

She wasn’t alone.

Parking ticket at YSU during the lockdown? Take it to the YPD

A Youngstown Municipal Court spokeswoman said the court received several complaints from people who received tickets Monday saying that they were issued during the time they were not allowed to leave.

The lockdown occurred after there was a report of a man with a gun on campus. A man surrendered to YSU police, ending the lockdown.

Raymer, 22, of Mineral Ridge, who graduates in a couple of weeks, said she was “shocked” to get a parking ticket.

The ticket was issued at 12:54 p.m., almost 90 minutes after the lockdown started and about 20 minutes before it was lifted. Raymer’s class was scheduled to end at 12:15 p.m., which would have given her enough time in the meter to avoid a ticket.

“I couldn’t believe they’d write tickets since we were on lockdown,” she said. “It wasn’t a secret that the campus was on lockdown. I don’t get why they’d do that. They was nobody walking on campus. Everyone was locked down inside the buildings. How did they expect me to put money in the meter when I wasn’t allowed to leave the building?”

Raymer said she plans to contact the city police department to contest the ticket.

The ticket is $10.

The city contracts with Ampco System Parking to give parking tickets in the YSU area for the police department, a municipal court spokeswoman said.

Court officials are trying to come up with a solution, the spokeswoman said.

Attempts Monday by The Vindicator to reach Ampco were unsuccessful.

“We’ll work with the clerk of courts to resolve that situation,” said YSU Police Chief Shawn Varso.

City Police Chief Robin Lees said his officers all have ticket books, but they were not writing tickets while they were at the university.

“Our guys were up there looking for a guy with a gun,” Lees said. “They didn’t stop to write parking tickets.”

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