Video: Mayor cracks down on parking violators

msnbc.com news services
updated 8/2/2011 2:43:59 PM ET 2011-08-02T18:43:59

A PhotoBlog post about this story included an image in which a person was digitally removed. The photo was handed out by the mayor's office and distributed by The Associated Press and other news organizations. A video accompanying the story and blog post showed the person riding in the carrier behind the mayor. A new PhotoBlog post details the AP's correction.

Frustrated by motorists who park their cars with impunity around the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, Mayor Arturas Zuokas reportedly took an extreme approach to express his displeasure.

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According to the Irish Times, the mayor, seeking to reassure residents that the city will not let drivers park illegally without punishment, hopped in an armored personnel carrier and drove over a Mercedes-Benz.

Video of the publicity stunt — posted on the mayor's YouTube page — shows the grinning lawmaker and a handful of men riding the tank as it slowly rolls over, then partially crushes, an old Mercedes-Benz S-Class parked in a bus lane.

"In the past few days, expensive cars have been illegally parked in almost this exact place – a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari," the mayor reportedlyexplains while narrating the video.

"This tank is a good tool to solve the problem of parking in the wrong place."

The mayor, reportedly a biking enthusiast, is shown cleaning some of the mess, then riding his bike away from the scene.

According to the Irish Times, Mr. Zuokas explained that he "wanted to send a message."

"I want to point out that if you have a car and more money it doesn’t mean that you can park it everywhere. Recently, there’s been an increase in this type of parking violations, and it shows a lack of respect for others."

The mayor's spokeswoman, Irma Juskenaite, told theGuardian that Zuokas hopes residents received the message loud and clear.

"The mayor hopes that he will not have to repeat his performance to have drivers heed his message, although he says that he is prepared to do so."

Additionally, Juskenaite told the Guardian that the Mercedes-Benz was purchased specifically for the video.

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