NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A video has gone viral after a Long Island man recorded a police officer who threatened to ticket him if he washed his car in the driveway.

The 24-year-old said he was washing his 1997 Volkswagen in his driveway when a police officer told him he wasn’t allowed to do that.

“What is that? Doing any kind of work here or any kind of detailing, like washing the car — things like that you are not allowed to do,” the police officer said.

The officer said although the car wasn’t going to be washed in the street, which is illegal, washing it in the driveway would still be in the public’s view, Hall reported. No one received a ticket during the ordeal and The Garden City Police Department had no comment about the incident.

He should have laughed in his face.



  1. Jeremy says:

    In our hood
    we can not wash cars in driveways.
    we can not let our lawn get more than 5″ high
    we can not hang colored lights at Christmas – only white
    we can not leave our trash cans at the curb – only on trash day
    we can not have chalk writings on sidewalks after dusk

    • Dallas says:

      Agreed,

      This was contrived knowing they would get in trouble. I don’t want someone in my neighborhood running a car wash out there front lawn.

  2. William says:

    First of all, turn the phone landscape when your recording for god sakes…

    Second, Nassau county cops are notoriously pushy and you could tell if the camera wasn’t on this would have been much worse. With that said, Garden City is known for its “upper class” residence who enact these dopey local ordinances to keep the surrounding “lower class” neighborhoods of Hempstead and Elmont far at bay. I’m sure the fact this kid had a car that cost less than 100,000 in his driveway pissed off the neighbors.

    For all we know he’s a punk that bothers the neighbors and they are just busting his balls but its still incredible how arbitrary these laws are. One town over you’ll find people doing oil-changes in the street and the cops pass by without saying a word.

  3. Din-A-Ling says:

    RE: He should have laughed in his face.

    Did you even LISTEN?! Everyone was laughing under their breath at the whole situation.

    It’s laudable at the utter ridiculousness of it all — EVERYONE gets it! Laudable from the perspective of whatever passes for city ordinances. Laudable at whatever group of “wise guys” that passed the public washing ordinance (law). Laudable at the neighbor who was complaining. Laudable at the waste of time to deal with it. And even a little laudable that anyone would feel a need to video the police investigation. Although even I would have probably taken a video since cops are human and prone to make mistakes where encounters like this can go so horribly wrong.

    Now, try looking at it from the cops perspective when he’s called out to deal with a total bullshit domestic disturbance. Ask any cop, and he/she will tell you that these kind of calls are the number killer of cops. Just try and remember that…

    But I suppose this video would still be funny had it gone wrong. Right?!

    (BTW, I saw this last week when it made the news on Yahoo! So no need for me to watch it again.)

    • Din-A-Ling says:

      P.S. One other thing to laugh at…

      Who washes their crappy car in near freezing weather?! A nice car, maybe. But a POS like that?!

  4. fishguy says:

    The cop was going for his “f**k with somebody over nothing” Merit Badge. I have had cops do this to my teenage son. They get up in your face and try to make you do something stupid.

    Or, if they THINK they smell pot or alcohol it’s off to the station. My son, now 28, and no stranger to the system, just shuts-up. Says nothing. And, I mean NOTHING. It’s hard to do but it drives them crazy!

    However, one time on a traffic stop, the cop said it was because his “tag” was covered with dirt. And, then, the cop says, “Do I smell marijuana?” My son says, “Wow! Now that you mention it, so do I. You been tokin’ officer?” It took balls but the cop laughed out loud and told him to go on his way. Secret? Son wasn’t holding.

  5. dave m brewer says:

    Buy yet he and his friend can sprinkle water on each other an smack one other on the butt… that’s legal.

  6. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Well, here in sunny Northern Calif, my HOA says we can’t wash our cars in our driveways because it is an environmental pollution.

    I said: “How Come” and they said because the soap and detergents run off fouls the creek our roadways drain into.

    I said: “I’m just using plain water.”

    They came back the next day and said the dirt and oil from my car still polluted the runoff into the creek.

    I said: “I’m watering my plants with plain water and just richocheting off my car.”

    They said that was jailable and evictable if I kept it up.

    I was then FREEEEEEEEEE to make my own choices.

    WHERE IS MY GUN WHEN MY FREEEEEEEEEDOM HAS BEEN USURPTED SO UNGODLY!!!!

    Water Pollution…. I guess some argument can be made for that.

    Guns?…. What are they good for except to be shot by cops?

    Know what I mean?

    • dave m brewer says:

      What do they say when it rains on you car and lawn?

      • When it rains, it pours says:

        Hey, in Maryland, when it rains on your roof and driveway, you pay a tax!

        Sick laws, made by heady political control freaks.

        FYI, the Chesapeake Bay will NEVER see any benefit from this obtuse law and deliberate taxpayer fleecing.

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        Dave M Brewer—YOU are a public menace. Don’t give the Bastards any ideas or we will wind up with the same police state that is Maryland.

        I have a living room throw rug I litter on all winter long. Come Spring, my practice is to take the rug out to the front driveway and hose it off, then drape it over my fence to take 2-3 days to dry. I won’t be surprised if due to my car washing, I will get warned about causing potato chips to run off into the local creek.

        STEALTH (not guns) is the key to LIBERTY. btw–shooting the litter off my rug won’t do any good. Much better is my power hose fitting.

        So again: exactly what good are guns?

        Ha, ha.

        • dave m brewer says:

          There was a man in Santa Fe, NM who had a water fountain in his front yard. The city said he couldn’t use it because of water restrictions. The man drove to Denver with a water tank and paid to have it filled up. He used that water to run his fountain. The city came by again and told him he couldn’t run his water fountain. He told them that he have gone to Denver and bought the water there and brought it back to Santa Fe to run in his water fountain. The city wrote him a ticket and said… We don’t care where you bought the water. Running your water fountain gives the appearance that your wasting water… Catch 22

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            Some part of my brain says that once you accept to follow the law ((until it is changed)) that reasoning makes sense to me. Then, if I close one eye, I can say it justifies the inquiry but should not be illegal.

            The law. Enforced equitably without exceptions.

            The law was passed in order to “save water” regardless of its source? People die without water, it is a good thing to save. A nice water fountain. Why live in a world without art and beauty?

            How is FREEEEEEEEDOM affected by a denial to run a water fountain?

            Better: run a fountain using non evaporating mineral oil and post a 12 foot sign advising of such water saving techniques. Odds are–you would only get a ticket for the sign, and the fountain would stay???

            Ha, ha.

  7. Glenn E. says:

    Bored cop, eh? Or maybe said cop has a relative that owns a car wash or auto detailing business. So conflict of interest was a work.

    In Baltimore City, a couple years ago, police were ticketing vehicles, to be towed to a garage, that the policemen received kickbacks from. The garage’s fees were higher than any of its competition. So I guess police support was the only way it got any business, at all.

  8. ReadyKilowatt says:

    Note that right at the top of the video, the cop pointed out that one of his neighbors called in the complaint. Either defuse the situation by being neighborly, or escalate the situation by calling in every infraction you see.

    I live in a covenant controlled community, but there’s no HOA. Everything I can and cannot do was spelled out in an agreement, but there’s not much of an enforcement arm. Luckily I get along with my neighbors and if there was ever any question about some wrong-doing on my part, I’d simply point out all the infractions I see on the homes owned by the deputy and state patrolman who live up the street.

    But not being permitted to wash a car? No way would I put up with that one.

    • WmDE says:

      There was a covenant on the property I own, it said I couldn’t keep hogs.

  9. B. Dog says:

    I’m with ReadyKilowatt on this one.

    The cop is not being a bully.

  10. Paulie says:

    WOW. The insanity of gov regulations, either by city, state or fed. What kind of douche-bag calls the police over a neighbor washing their car, on THEIR property? What kind of police dispatcher doesn’t tell the caller to stop harrassing their neighbors and/or just hangs up on them, after laughing in their face?
    I can’t grasp the retardness of it all. I hope I never will. LMAO

  11. fishguy says:

    Some more thoughts:

    1) Many communities have water run-off rules and they do benefit adjacent waterways. However, all the cop has to do is explain that fact. Calmly and professionally. That’s all I ask from my Public Servants.

    2) I sense is that the cop was “baiting” this guy. As I explained above, here in Missoula, Montana, the cops are bunch of “jack-booted-thugs” (my opinion). All cops know EXACTLY who they are talking to before they get out of the car. They always run a CIC database search.

    I know this for fact. I once worked for a “reserve deputy”. When he saw my vanity license plate on my truck he said, “Oh, your “***”, I’ve run that plate lots of times and I wondered if we would ever meet.”

    3) The incident may be an innocent Water Quality call. However, I think we are watching an example of “slave training” — coming to a traffic stop near you.

    4) For example: Do you think they only arrest drunk drivers at DUI checkpoints.?

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      1) Many communities have water run-off rules and they do benefit adjacent waterways. However, all the cop has to do is explain that fact. Calmly and professionally. That’s all I ask from my Public Servants. /// Yes, and I AGREE with those which is why I was using plain water. Soap only actually helps where its not road dust but oil grime that needs to be removed often found near the bottom panels of the car. Cops often can be more helpful in their interactions. Our roads also do in fact run off into the local creeks. Some roads run into drain sewers that also collect kitchen sink soapy water. The cops are not charged with doing a survey to actually see where the street run off water goes. On my property, I can actually choose which way it goes. Hmmmm….theres an Idea…..just to get in trouble. No body likes a smart ass.

      2) I sense is that the cop was “baiting” this guy. As I explained above, here in Missoula, Montana, the cops are bunch of “jack-booted-thugs” (my opinion). All cops know EXACTLY who they are talking to before they get out of the car. They always run a CIC database search. /// How so? He was responding to a complaint. What would a CIC tell a cop about someone flagrantly cleaning his car that would guide his interaction?

      I know this for fact. I once worked for a “reserve deputy”. When he saw my vanity license plate on my truck he said, “Oh, your “***”, I’ve run that plate lots of times and I wondered if we would ever meet.” /// “bees Knees” or if three letters, ass is the only fill in I can think of. Not a common phrase??

      3) The incident may be an innocent Water Quality call. However, I think we are watching an example of “slave training” — coming to a traffic stop near you. /// Slave training indeed. Too many cops are into their authority too much and too little into community service but when you play with a rabid dog……. Meanwhile, responding to a specific complaint and enforcing the law uniformly against all violators is not like a traffic stop at all.

      4) For example: Do you think they only arrest drunk drivers at DUI checkpoints.? /// No…nor should they fail to arrest any violations found. Blind Justice is about impartiality–not about being blind and stupid and discriminatory.

      WHOLE POINT BEING—if you don’t like the law===CHANGE THE LAW. Blaming the police for enforcing it is just plain stupid.

      You know who you are.

  12. JCD's Love Child says:

    I don’t know what’s worse, the asshole cop that’s so excited about enforcing idiotic laws (“it’s the law, I have no choice”), or those two numb nuts for tempting said asshole cop.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      numb nuts tempting is always worse than a cop enforcing the legal code. What kind of backward world do you advocate for?

  13. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Speaking of numb nuts, here is the type of advice one would give: “He should have laughed in his face.” /// McCullough….. time to grow as a person. Really? You think free citizens should laugh in the face of someone poorly selected, trained, motivated, and supervised who has a gun and can arrest you WHILE you are clearly violating a clear simple written rule/law?

    ……. and when you wake up in the hospital shot or clubbed by the cop as the situation escalated out of control, do you think you have advanced ….what goal?

    The law that you contest might not even be unreasonable. As people overpopulate the world, the only way we are going to survive (HAH!!!===we aren’t going to survive)==>the only way to slow down our eventual demise is to minimize our impact on the environment. MEANING: isolated mountain men living in isolation can do all sorts of things not appropriate to high density living. You don’t like it? Hey–the FREEEEEEEDOM of people to live according to rules they vote in as best as democracy can arrange (sic) is called civilization.

    You don’t like it? Move to the Mountains of 1713 and fight the indians. Failing that, its not proper to recommend action that can get you jailed or worse.

    Please, for all that is sacred, if not for your own sanity and rationality, think of the children.

  14. What I don’t get is the fact that these local bumsteads in that community would rather have the driveways filled with filthy looking dirt wagons, never washed or gussied up? How is that a good thing or desirable? “Yes, we have a community of rich folks and we like eyesores!” Can they even wash the windows to their homes? This is outrageous.

    • William says:

      The simple fact is people in Garden City have the money to have other people do these things for them. God forbid someone takes the initiative on their own. They would probably freak if they saw someone mowing there own lawn. They would probably think the homeowner was broke and the house might go to short sale to a **Gasp** person of color.

  15. mfDX says:

    The cop was sent by his lieutenant. Following orders. He showed the complaint. Advised the offenders and was on his way. Maybe the bylaw needs to be looked at.

    That said, is that foil tape holding the bumper together? That power washer looks more expensive than that car.

  16. spsffan says:

    Pretty messed up situation, to be sure. But, perhaps there’s more to it than meets the eye. Maybe, this guy and the neighbor in question have issues. Maybe the guy in the video has loud parties, throws bloodied, screaming whores out of the house at 2 AM, or is a general pain in the butt, and calling the cops for washing the car was just an opportunity. The vertical video is indication that someone at that house isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree.

    Or not. Maybe the neighbor is just a total stick up their butt f-tard with nothing better to do.

    And, of course there’s the city council that enacted this nonsense, but that problem is also endemic.

    But, it does back up my opinion that you can’t own real estate in this country. You can “hold title” but that’s different (a subset of) from ownership.

  17. John says:

    The ordinance reads as follows:

    “No person shall wash or cause to be washed, clean or cause to be cleaned, beat or cause to be beaten any rugs, curtains, furniture, tapestry, clothing or other like articles upon any sidewalk, public street, highway or public place within the village, and no person shall wash or cause to be washed any motor vehicle or like conveyance upon any public street, highway or public place.”

    USLegal.com, definition of Public Place:

    “A public place is generally an indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned, to which the public have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, whether by payment of money or not, but not a place when used exclusively by one or more individuals for a private gathering or other personal purpose.

    It’s real simple, your driveway is not a “public place” by any legal definition in the law. So in no way were they in violation of the law. I would wash my car and take the ticket then go to city hall and tell they that I will take legal action against the township if this is not resolved immediately. My guess is that they would back down since they have no legal position to stand on and they know that the Police interpreted the ordinance incorrectly.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Excellent Analysis. Looks like the law is about visual esthetics rather than conservation or other issues?

      Did I hear the cop respond to that issue by saying “Its in the public view, so same thing?” Maybe thats why the cop did not issue a ticket afteral?

      People living in high density/close proximity BY NECESSITY reduces our rights and freedoms. Majority will with respect for Minority Rights must always be balanced.

      Seems to me another “rule” in our HOA is that we can’t do anything that causes water to run off into the gutters. I think that is actually correct in this locale. No beating of rugs is a good catch. I wonder why they didn’t include no smoking for the same reason. Same Issue?==I was interested in trying to make a home made still just for the experience of doing so. A neighbor from the back woods of Kentucky said it was easy enough to do but the Mash would stink for the few days it took to cook it. So, I decided to buy my alcohol at the local store. Hmmm…. think I’ve just motivated myself again to do it on my stove top. Got to read up again on how not to drink the poison that is first distilled. I like hobbies that can actually save you money, if you don’t burn down the house in the process.

      ….. ain’t life grand?

  18. tigerjuju says:

    The douchebags here are not the cops. It’s the city council that passed the stupid ordinance, and the neighbor who called the cops over something as dumb as this.

  19. William says:

    Well, the local CBS affiliate just reported on this… don’t get your hopes up yet, they didn’t do any actual reporting, only reported that the video went viral.

    Being the first commentor I through dvorak.org a nod for being the first to report on this, but I’m sure it will get moderated out.