Hartland paraplegic woman has police on speed dial over illegal parkers

Posted at 5:57 AM, Mar 19, 2018

HARTLAND -- A Hartland woman feels a $250 fine for illegally parking in a handicap space, is not enough.

In fact, Michelle Grota, 28, finds people parking in handicap spaces so often, she has police stations on speed dial.

Grota developed a rare cancer eleven years ago in her spine. She is now paraplegic but that has never held her back.

"You have to speak up for yourself," said Grota."I feel like everyone wants to have their independence."

It frustrates her when she needs to call the police to get back in her vehicle.

She showed TODAY'S TMJ4 photo evidence of when things have gone wrong, including going out to the movies and getting stuck at the hospital.

"I feel a need to call the police because otherwise nothing is going to be done about it," said Grota.

She has even programmed non-emergency police number on her cell phone. Many times when she calls, the culprit gets away.

One of the most common spots is in Waukesha. Police share they wrote out 24 tickets to handicap parking violators last year. It has picked up pace this year with eight so far.

She hopes you share her story, and avoid a ticket in the process.

"You don't know a lot about being disabled unless your living it," said Grota

The Hartland Police chief says if you see someone illegally parked in a handicap, call police right away.

You can tell if someone is legally parked by checking for handicap license plates or handicapped tag in the mirror.