Handwritten notice of ticket no joke for KC woman accused of traffic violation

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When a Kansas City cop gave notice of a traffic ticket by writing it on a piece of notebook paper, the woman he pulled over first thought it was a joke.

But she soon realized the KCPD officer who pulled her over wasn't laughing.

“He walked up to my window and he said, ‘You rolled through the stop sign at 59th and Oak,’” recalled Stephani Bowne. “And I didn’t think that I did, but he’s a cop, I’m not going to argue.”

As Bowne waited to learn her fate, she couldn’t have predicted what would happen next, when the KCPD officer came back and handed her a piece of notebook paper.

“I said, ‘What is this notebook piece of paper?’” Bowne asked the officer. “And he said, ‘That`s your ticket. My printer is not working.’ And I kind of laughed. I was like, ‘This is my ticket?’”

But it was no joke, and soon she was left staring at his scribble, which listed a ticket number, court date and violation code.

“I really didn’t have much direction,” Bowne said. “I knew he probably had it in a computer and something was going to show up in my mail, but I just thought that it was rather unprofessional coming from the police department.”

Questions of the ticket's validity popped up on Twitter Thursday, with the police department confirming it was legitimate.

“The piece of paper is actually not a ticket,” clarified KCPD spokeswoman Kari Thompson. “This individual was advised by the officer that there was a malfunction with the printer, and the officer said, ‘Hey, here’s all the information in regards to this citation and your ticket will be mailed to you at a later date.”

Thompson said IT glitches like this don’t happen often, and that the traffic officer didn’t violate any police department policies by issuing the makeshift notice.

A Jackson County Courthouse spokesperson confirmed the ticket’s legitimacy and provided FOX 4 with a copy of the official ticket, showing Bowne owes $118.50.

She said she’ll pay the fine but she still has concerns.

“I understand IT issues happen,” she said, “but they should have a better backup system for that versus just, ‘Here’s a piece of paper.’ I mean, it could’ve been a sticky note and I just have to accept it.”

She said a backup plan is “expected in any business, it should be expected with our police department as well.”

Bowne is now considering fighting the ticket in court.

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