Joel Grover, Chris Henao
LA Lakers center Andrew Bynum has allegedly been caught on camera parking his black BMW in not one, but two parking spots reserved for the disabled. NBC4's Investigative Reporter Joel Grover has the story.
LA Lakers center Andrew Bynum has allegedly been caught on camera parking his black BMW in not one, but two parking spots reserved for the handicapped.
The photos, provided exclusively to NBC4, were taken by an LA Parking Enforcement official at the upscale Bristol Farms Market in Playa del Rey.
NBC4's exclusive interview with the parking official who took the photos here.
NBC4 questioned Andrew Bynum, 23, about the alleged incident as he was getting into his car recently.
He slammed his car door and drove off without comment.
It appears the 7-foot-tall Laker, who makes $14 million a year, was breaking the law if he was parking in those spots. Violators who are ticketed are subject to a $353 fine.
Under the California Vehicle Code, drivers must display a disabled placard or disabled license plate to park in spaces designated for the disabled.
Bynum has not been issued either by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, NBC4 confirmed.
“It’s a terrible image and perception when something like this happens,” said Vito Scattaglia, DMV deputy chief, after NBC4 showed him the pictures.
The photos appear to capture Bynum’s BMW parked partly in a disabled parking spot, and partly in an adjoining spot reserved solely for the loading and unloading of disabled passengers.
The pictures appear to show Bynum lifting his groceries into his car and then driving off.
"That does infuriate me, because there are those people that truly need that space," Scattaglia said.
The photos show plenty of open parking spots for the able-bodied just a few feet from where Bynum had allegedly parked.
The abuse of disabled parking spots and placards is a growing problem that was exposed in an NBC4 undercover investigation in 2010.
Numerous businesspeople in areas like downtown LA, Beverly Hills, and Westwood, were videotaped illegally using disabled placards and spots to get free and easy parking.
“There is an increase in the violations we’re encountering, and the citations we’re issuing,” Scattaglia said.
Bynum's agent, David Lee, said he would relay an interview request to his client, but no interview has been arranged.