Parent feels teens wrongly ticketed in Plaza curfew

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. - One Prairie Village parent said he feels he has been wrongly ticketed for having his teen daughter on the Country Club Plaza just minutes after the city's curfew.

David Hickey is asking for a warning instead of the ticket he got.

Hickey said his 15-year-old daughter, Natalie, and her friend, Abby Blake, were there catching a G-rated movie at Cinemark on the Plaza Saturday. Only, it was anything but a happy ending for them and their parents.

"I don't want to be paying a fine for something that I feel we didn't do wrong," Hickey said.

Hickey said he was ticketed for having his daughter on the plaza unsupervised and past the city's 9 o'clock curfew.  But Hickey said his daughter and her friend were waiting outside of the theater around 9:20 p.m. for Abby's mom, who was apparently circling the block.

"The kids were standing in the corner or standing outside the movie theater and then corralled into the security building," Hickey said.

He said Natalie called him and he drove to the plaza to pick her up.  But he would be given a ticket.

"Telling us we had allowed out minor children to wander around the plaza unsupervised and that because of the curfew we were in violation of the city ordinance," Hickey said.

All this, even though Hickey points out an exception in the ordinance that said a person under 18 is excluded if he or she is returning directly home from certain entertainment events.

"To me going directly home means your standing at the curb waiting for your parents to pick you up," Hickey said.

Kansas City, Mo., Police Capt. Tye Grant said ticketing is up to the discretion of the officer. Grant said off-duty officers working for plaza security issued seven curfew violations total, because a fight broke out in the movie theater and some kids began throwing firecrackers, resulting in a few moments of chaos.

Hickey says his daughter was not among that crowd, but taken into holding anyway.

He said he faces a judge in August and could face a fine of up to $500 among other provisions.

FOX 4 also spoke to several businesses and residents in the area said they feel this ordinance put in place in 2011 is working.

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email: gia.vang@wdaftv4.com

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