Wild Goose Chase Leads to Jaywalking Ticket

Fairfax man fights ticket in court

A Virginia man thought he was doing a good deed by helping a family of Canada geese across a road in Fairfax County, but a police officer didn't see it that way.

Instead of congratulating Jozsef Vamosi on a job well done, the officer issued him a ticket for jaywalking.

Vamosi, 60, said he was driving on the Fairfax County Parkway back in June when he saw a family of geese trying to cross the road.

Not wanting to see 12 geese get squashed while trying to waddle across four lanes of traffic, he decided to give them some help.

He told the Washington Post that he parked his car, got out, and tried to escort the birds across the roadway.

The three larger and eight smaller geese waddled to the parkway's wide median, mission halfway accomplished. Vamosi then stepped into the southbound lanes, held up his hands to signal approaching cars, and the cars stopped, he said. Again he urged the feathered pedestrians to make haste. They did, ducked under a guardrail and continued on their way, Vamosi said.

That's when a police officer pulled up and wrote the Fairfax native a ticket for jaywalking.


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"I don't feel guilty," Vamosi told the Post. "My instinct is you try to do something good. We are only humans. I can sleep."

Police told the Post they'd rather have motorists pull off to the side of the road and call police, who will then respond.

But as Vamosi said, by the time an officer arrived, the geese might already become pate.

His initial court date was Monday morning, and he received some good news from the judge.

The judge said he can't ignore the fact that the incident could have led to a crash.  But he said Vamosi wouldn't have to pay the fine, which could have been as much as $250, as long as he paid his initial court costs, totaling about $60.

The judge went on to say that Vamosi would have another court date in six months, where the charge likely would be expunged.

"And if I had the chance, I'd do it again," Vamosi told the Post. "That's the way I'm raised."

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