CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago police officer used a $132 speeding ticket he issued to track down a woman and ask her for a date, saying the least he could do for costing her so much money was to buy her dinner, a lawsuit filed by the woman alleges.
Evangelina Paredes accuses Stickney cop Chris Collins of violating her privacy by searching motor-vehicle records for her address, then leaving a handwritten note on her car windshield outside her apartment two days after she was ticketed.
A copy of the alleged note was attached to the lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Chicago. It starts with an attempt at self-deprecating humor, saying, "It’s Chris … that ugly bald Stickney cop who gave you that ticket."
"I know this may seem crazy and you’re probably right, but truth is I have not stopped thinking about you since," it continues. "I don’t expect a girl as attractive as you to … even go for a guy like me, but I’m taking a shot anyways."
The note goes on to say he would understand if Paredes did not get in touch.
"But hey," it continues apologetically, "I did cost you $132 — least I can do is buy you dinner."
Collins, 27, told The Associated Press by phone on Tuesday that he hadn’t yet hired an attorney and couldn’t comment.
According to the lawsuit, Collins pulled Paredes over on Oct. 22 in Stickney, a village just southwest of Chicago. The note allegedly appeared on her car in a parking lot next to her apartment.
"The letter caused plaintiff to suffer great fear and anxiety," the lawsuit says. "Plaintiff could not believe that a police officer would use his access to her personal information to find her home and stalk her."
The suit, which seeks unspecified payments in damages, also accuses Collins of using his "authority and position as a police officer not to protect the public, but to attempt to manipulate the plaintiff into going out on a date with him."
The lawsuit also names Stickney Police Chief Joseph Kretch and the village of Stickney. A message left on Kretch’s voicemail Tuesday was not immediately returned. Stickney Mayor Daniel O’Reilly also didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.