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82-year-old’s $114 jaywalking ticket under fire

Mayvis Coyle got more than just a $114 jaywalking ticket for taking too long to cross a busy street.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Mayvis Coyle got more than just a $114 jaywalking ticket for taking too long to cross a busy street.

With the 82-year-old woman’s fine has come international celebrity — she has camera crews showing up at her home, invitations to appear on television and support from around the world.

“I didn’t want all this publicity,” Coyle said Thursday. “But I’m not objecting to being used if it gets the lights changed and gets respect for the elderly.”

Los Angeles police officials say Coyle entered a busy San Fernando Valley intersection on Feb. 15 after the red “Don’t Walk” sign began blinking. They say the department is cracking down on wayward pedestrians because an increasing number of them are being killed by cars.

Coyle says she began shuffling across the intersection with her cane in one hand and groceries in the other on a white “Walk” signal. The great-great-grandmother plans to fight the ticket.

Her plight has drawn attention from blogs such as the Drudge Report and media around the world. “STICK YOUR FINE,” Scotland’s Glasgow Daily Record said.

Now, camera crews show up at Coyle’s trailer unannounced, asking her to tell and retell her story. Because she doesn’t have a phone, the trailer park’s office manager has been taking messages; “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” called Thursday, wanting to book an appearance.

People who e-mailed the Los Angeles Daily News, which first reported Coyle’s story on Monday, generally agreed that the officer should have simply escorted her across the street.

“Where are the Boy Scouts when you need them?” wrote one reader from Washington state. “This is so beyond ridiculous!”

The office of City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is reviewing Coyle’s ticket, spokesman Frank Mateljan said.

City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel has directed transportation officials to figure out how to make signals longer near senior housing and community centers. They’ve already lengthened the walk light at the intersection where Coyle was ticketed.