WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Waterbury police gave a 75-year-old man a ticket after he was struck by a car and knocked out of his scooter chair.
"He wants to remain independent, so the chair has really helped him," said Cathy Badger.
The powered chair has now left Badger's 74 year-old father, Thomas Galvin, in panic mode. Part of his daily routine is going to McDonald's near the intersection of West Main Street and Thomaston Avenue where police say he was hit.
"He stopped and he saw the person pull out of the gas station," Badger said, "and he said he was clipped."
He was taken to the hospital where he stayed for just a few hours. However, Galvin is angry because he was ticketed by police and charged with improper operation of a motor driven cycle on a roadway.
Police tell News 8 that's because he was driving in the wrong lane.
He was also charged with violation of a permit provision.
"I think it's kind of crazy. I was even more angry when I woke up and saw in the paper the comment there was no medical prescription or need for the chair," Badger said. "He had to prove he was disabled to get medicare to pay for the motor chair."
Police say Galvin told them on the scene that he didn't have authorization. His daughter says there seems to be some confusion.
"I don't know what kind of permission," Badger said. "Are they referring to carrying a prescription in your pocket?"
Police tell News 8, yes. You must have some type of proof or prescription from the doctor with you while you are riding around.
Badger said her father's ticket for more than $200.
Galvin has already signed the ticket and plans on fighting it in court.
"I hope he's not accountable for these charges after being hit," Badger said, "and I hope this opens the conversation about safety issues regarding these power chairs and more education is communicated to this vulnerable population."
Galvin lives in a building with others who also have the power chairs. His daughter is hoping they or their loved ones read up on the rules, so they're not put in the same situation.
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