‘I overdid it!’ top Quezon City traffic cop says of his window-smashing rampage

<Photo: Ariel Inton / FB</i>

Quezon City’s traffic management chief publicly apologized yesterday for smashing the window of an illegally parked car.

Ariel Inton told DZMM radio he had apologized to the car’s owner who called him “disrespectful and arrogant” after last week’s incident, but said he actually did it to be considerate.

“I didn’t do it because I want to destroy [the car], I just wanted to open the lock, so the vehicle wouldn’t be damaged when we towed it,” Inton said.

But sir, you did damage it by busting that window, no? 

“Breaking the window, I must admit I overdid it, and I apologize, ” he added. “That instance was a call of judgment. Might be wrong, but really, I’m sorry I overdid it.”

The car-smashing incident occurred when Inton and his team were removing obstructions from Timog Avenue, from illegally parked vehicles to unlicensed street vendors. Inton landed in hot water after his own task force filmed him smashing the window of a white sedan with what appeared to be a tire wrench. He then handed the piece of metal to a member of the crew, who proceeded to tow the car.

Meanwhile, Angel Movido, the vehicle’s owner, appeared later and noticed his vehicle was missing. He initially thought that it had been stolen and only learned its fate when he saw the video circling the Internet.

“When I heard the sound of crashing [windows], that’s when I felt weak,” Movido told news show TV Patrol yesterday. “It was such a disrespectful and arrogant thing to do. To disrespect the dignity of your property.”

The car owner added that he plans to file a complaint of carnapping, malicious mischief, and property damage against Inton and his team. He also stressed that he has yet to accept Inton’s apology.

Inton, a former Quezon City councilor, has never hidden his disdain for illegally parked vehicles. In fact, he authored a 2004 city ordinance that referred to them as “ordinary garbage” that should be confiscated without prior notice. The same ordinance said that the government could not be held liable for any damage inflicted on such vehicles during their removal, confiscation or disposal.

In light of the incident, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte told TV Patrol that “proper behavioral steps” are being taken to review the policies covering clearance operations such as the one Inton conducted.

The interior department has told various cities in Metro Manila that they have until Sunday to remove obstructions from primary and secondary public roads, according to The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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