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Hit and Walk: That’s Bold, and I Don’t Mean the Coffee

The aftermath of a fender bender I witnessed left a bad taste in my mouth.

One thing I like about is that most of the customers are regulars. In a way, the Main Street shop is a microcosm of Bel Air.

When I walk downtown, through Festival or cover public meetings and , I see a lot of familiar faces. I see you all.

So if I did something that negatively affected you—say, backed into your car and cracked your bumper—I’d tell you. At the very least, I’d leave a note with my contact information and a bribe from .

But I wouldn’t go about my day as if nothing happened.

Last week, though, I saw someone do just that. I was interviewing a woman at Shamrock, who promptly interrupted me when something outside caught her attention.

“Did you see that?” she asked.

I didn’t.

“That truck just hit that car. Is that your car?”

No.

“He just backed into and it bounced back and forth.”

The woman went outside and asked the driver if he realized what he did. The man acknowledged hitting the other car with his SUV but said it was “over the line” of the parallel parking space. Then he walked away.

I’m no legal expert, but the next person to walk in the shop—Sheriff Jesse Bane—is. (You never know who's watching.) After he was told the story, Bane said the man who backed into the car was at fault.

Unfortunately, that man was already halfway up the block without leaving a note.

“You can leave one if you want,” he told witnesses before storming off.

They did him one better, and called the . (Bane’s sheriff deputies don’t have primary jurisdiction over the .)

Moments later, the driver of the car that was hit returned to his parking space. Informed of what happened, the man looked at his now-cracked bumper and shook his head.

“It wasn’t like that before,” he said.

A police officer showed up a few minutes later. What he did about the legal aspect I don’t know or care. It was an ethical issue.

Not only had this man, who apparently does business on Main Street, backed into another vehicle and walked away, but he didn’t feel bad about it.

Where I come from (Pylesville) that’s called bad manners.

Accidents do happen, even minor ones, but when they affect others—especially people you’re likely to see again—is it that difficult to do the right thing?

The next time something I do ruins your day, I’ll do my best to atone for it. My hope is that you would return the favor.

And if you’re going to leave me a cupcake, salted caramel is my favorite flavor.

carol welk May 12, 2011 at 12:42 PM
it happened to me as well. I work at the hospital and one weekend while at work someone side swiped the whole driver side of my car, of course when I left work there was not any car parked next to mine nor a note explaining that they did that. I was appauld, but I do believe that Karma will come to that person one day. p.s. it was also on my Birthday :( Carol
Ray Fischer May 12, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Well played, Brad!
Dena Michelman May 13, 2011 at 12:17 AM
It's nice to see and hear that someone cares about manners. I encounter so many people in my daily life who's parents skipped that lesson or they weren't listening. Sometimes a "please" and a "thank you" go a long way. As for this dolt, I think the situation takes "bad manners" to a whole new level. All I can say is Karma!

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