Gabriel Friedman's hotly disputed parking ticket was indeed valid. On Wednesday, a stranger admitted to putting a dime in the meter after it had expired in the hopes of sparing Friedman a ticket. Stephanie Elam reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2012.
A parking enforcement officer who was caught on video issuing a ticket to a vehicle that apparently still had time on the meter was in the right and the ticket was valid, according to the driver who posted the video online.
"Sincere apologies to the parking officer for accusing him of cheating on the job. We were in the wrong, the ticket was valid, and it has been paid," wrote Gabriel Friedman on the YouTube video's description, which was updated Wednesday.
The video, published Sunday, has amassed more than 200,000 views. After the story aired on NBC4, a tipster contacted Friedman and NBC4, writing that he was the one who put extra money in the meter after the attendant started writing the citation.
"The crazy thing is that we had jumped out of my truck, and the meter guy was just walking up to your car. I had a dime in my pocket, and as I walked by your meter, the meter guy was looking away, so I dropped in the dime," wrote the tipster who wished to remain anonymous.
In an interview with NBC4 on Wednesday, the tipster said that "maybe the parking ticket guy would glance back at the meter and go, 'oh wait, maybe it wasn't expired,' and then continue on his way."
"I can't stand to think the meter guy would be seen as the villain, and I can't stand to see that Gabe would be the villain. Nobody's a villain," he said.
Friedman had claimed he had 5 minutes left on his Hollywood parking meter and a $63 ticket was unjustified, calling the incident "highway robbery on a two-way street."
According to the Department of Transportation's record, someone had deposited 10 cents after the meter expired. Friedman denied putting money in the meter.
Original Story: "Caught on Video: Parking Ticket Dispute"
It turns out, both parties were right, and it was the passerby who attempted to thwart the ticket.
"I feel vindicated and I am glad that my girlfriend is also in the clear, as well as the parking officer," Friedman said. "We are all innocent except for me not paying attention to the meter."
Now that it's all cleared up, Friedman said he wants to take the anonymous dime donor, who just launched myparkingstory.com after the incident, and the traffic officer to brunch.