Fort Lee, New Jersey – Residents of a New Jersey town are disputing a recent trap that police set up for drivers this past Halloween. Last week, an undercover officer was dressed in a giant Donald Duck costume and paced back and forth on the sidewalk and street on a busy road.
Officers would then pull over drivers who failed to yield for the duck, and hit them with $230 traffic tickets. Police issued a whopping 130 tickets that day for a total take of $29,900.00.
Karen Haigh of River Edge is one of the drivers caught up in this trap, and she told ABC7 that she intends to fight the ticket.
“This duck kept going to the curb, off the curb. I thought it was a crazy guy on Halloween. They told me that I was getting a ticket for not stopping for a duck, but it scared me. I’m a woman. This huge duck scared me. If it was a person dressed normally, I think all those people would have stopped,” she said.
Haigh is one of dozens of motorists who received tickets this Halloween in the Donald Duck sting operation, meaning that the police department raked in tens of thousands of dollars in this one operation.
Police Chief Keith Bendul defended the operation, saying that it was intended to prevent drivers from hitting pedestrians.
“Two years ago, we had 62 people struck, this year, we had 40, I’m glad to say. But zero is my ultimate goal. When you see a pedestrian, child, adult or duck, stop, let them cross and proceed with your day,” Bendul said in a statement.
However, video footage of the operation shows that the officer dressed in the duck suit was intentionally confusing motorists, walking back and forth between the street and the sidewalk, and making confusing hand gestures.
Watch the full news report and video footage below.