MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Several people attending a funeral this week came out of the service to find parking tickets on their windshields.
The funeral was held inside the Dellwood Country Club in Washington County on Wednesday.READ MORE: Northern Minnesota Man Arrested After Allegedly Assault 2 People With Hand Saw
Attendees told WCCO a crowd of about 500 people showed up and some parked along the shoulder of Highway 96 for an hour or two until the service was over.
Vadnais Heights resident Amy Baker said she was devastated by the loss of her 44-year-old friend and neighbor.
“He was just a very well-respected community member,” Baker said.
The state patrol said there were about 40 or 50 cars parked along the highway, prompting concerned drivers to report that it was creating a safety risk.
But Baker says she doesn’t believe it was an unsafe situation.
“I didn’t see every car, but I know my car had two wheels over in the grass and two wheels several feet to the right of the white shoulder line,” Baker said.READ MORE: PHOTO: U Of M Alerts Students To Person Taking Pictures In Showers
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office records show almost 30 people got tickets for parking on a highway. Baker’s was for $125.
“It just felt really malicious to me and it felt disrespectful,” Baker said.
Baker says there were no immediate “no parking” signs posted outside the gates of the country club and she wishes authorities would have helped people find alternative parking instead of issuing citations.
Authorities say they asked the country club staff to make an announcement that people needed to move their cars and even gave them some time to do so.
The country club’s general manager told WCCO they never ask or encourage anyone to park along the highway, but this event was simply much bigger than most and people made their own decisions.
The country club said staff members did make an announcement, but Baker says she never heard one.
“I don’t think they should be collecting thousands of dollars from a funeral that lasted a couple hours,” Baker said.MORE NEWS: Protesters Demonstrate Against 'Unethically High' Drug Prices Outside UnitedHealthcare Corporate Offices
Baker said she’ll likely just pay her ticket but says if there’s ever another big event at the country club that may bring out hundreds of people, law enforcement and the country club should coordinate a better parking alternative.