STC Student’s Disability Placard Questioned by Security
MCALLEN – A South Texas College student claimed his disability rights were questioned by college security after he parked in a handicap space.
College police said illegally parking within a disabled space is a major problem at all the STC campuses. They have to double check the person’s disability. But the student said that’s not right.
An X-Ray indicates a metal rod was implanted in Eric Quesada’s left foot after he injured his leg while working at the oil plant.
“I had a 1,700 plus pound pipe fall on my leg and I suffered an open fracture of the tibia and fibula they stabbed out through my skin,” he said.
Quesada made a career change and decided to major in business at South Texas College.
“I may not look disabled but I’m disabled. I’m legally disabled,” he said.
Quesada said that for three months he’s parked at a disabled parking space on campus. On Tuesday, he said he was questioned by campus security about the disability placard in his car.
“I displayed it. I attempted to get out of my car when I was approached by a security guard on a bike. She demanded that I prove my disability or show her paper correspondence that corresponds to this,” he said.
Quesada said this is wrong.
“They can’t be doing this. I mean you can’t just go ask. You’re infringing on their rights. You can’t do that,” he said.
STC Police Chief Paul Varville explained they are following the transportation code.
“It outlines the fact that police and security guards are authorized to question individuals,” he said.
Varville explained they started asking students due to a large amount of violations.
“This year we have issued 100 citations for violations of handicapped spaces. Often times we have individuals that bring placards from their grandmother or grandfather or some other individual,” he said.
Varville explained Quesada and other students have another option from being questioned.
“If they want to put one we provide a free sticker on the back of the vehicle so we can show police officers and guards when they go by that this person has already been confirmed to have a valid handicap permit,” he offered.
Quesada said he’ll continue to keep following the law and hopes other students can do the same.
Varville explained if a student is in violation they could pay up to more than $600 in fines.