SOUTH PASADENA (CBS) — We’ve all heard the saying: no good deed goes unpunished . . . and that’s exactly what happened to a South Pasadena resident who was issued a ticket by police for his charitable act.

When a major traffic light in the area went out Thursday morning, Alan Ehrlich took matters into his own hands, directing traffic at Fair Oaks and Huntington avenues.

“I grabbed a bright orange shirt that I have and a couple of orange safety flags. I took it upon myself to help get motorists through that intersection faster,” said Ehrlich.

Before Ehrlich stepped in, traffic was backed up for more than a mile and it took more than 30 minutes to get through the busy intersection.

Ehrlich said the Sept. 8 incident wasn’t the first and that the light goes out regularly.

“It was just kind of chaos of cars . . . there were stop signs up. But people were challenging each other to get through the intersection,” said Richard Gerrish who works at an office located at the intersection.

Gerrish said Ehrlich cleared up the mess in 10 minutes. After 15 minutes, South Pasadena police say they finally received a call about their newest traffic officer.

Police responded to the scene and told Ehrlich to stop and issued him a ticket, but never stepped into direct traffic themselves.

“I don’t know if this ticket is $50 or $400 dollars. It’s a small price to pay for the greater good,” Ehrlich said.

South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers at Fair Oaks and Huntington Thursday and that is safer to allow traffic to back up.

“We have limited resources . . . we need to prioritize them. One of the major intersections out at rush hour in our city should be a priority,” Ehrlich added.

He already has plans to address the matter at an upcoming city council meeting.

Police and the city of South Pasadena say they currently have no plans to change any procedures.

Comments (616)
  1. Wow says:

    Well, as usual, it isn’t until someone else is doing your job, that you decide to respond. There’s no excuse not to have a traffic officer out there for that long a period of time. I say good for that man and shame on the police department…lazy.

    1. Ronny Hollywood says:

      We have cops abusing our citizens like this and yet we have millions of illegals running wild under protection of our government and getting all sorts of government freebies! What is wrong with this picture folks?

      Join the American Third Position today and let’s take this country back for real Americans!

      1. Deb says:

        You are so right, good call.

    2. Brent says:

      Join the Council of Conservative Citizens at

      Do it today!

  2. Pepe Esparza says:

    “gooder”? Don’t you mean “better”? They let anyone be a cop nowadays..

    1. Pepe is lame says:

      It was meant as a joke Pepe.

    2. AJ says:

      You’re right Pepe. Anyone can be a cop even if you can’t write the right words. As long as you can issue a ticket for this kind of thing then you’re good to go. It’s amazing how they were supposed to serve and protect but I dont think so…..

    3. goodkid1 says:

      Pepe……up to you but you but you might wanna read the post again, and try and see the author is not really police, and is pointing out in his humorous witty way that cops are dumb and lazy. 🙂

    4. rich says:

      dude who ever posted the comment under the name FULLERTON PD was clearly being a smart ass and is not actually a cop

    5. Pedro says:


      You can VOTE, but please don’t breed

    6. Phil Mckracken says:

      Pepe – It’s sarcasm.
      Sarcasm is like saying “Pepe is smart” – Get it?

  3. Jorge says:

    You’re so right about the Chief. Issuing a ticket to a guy who actually did something good for the community is just embarrassing.

  4. Gator says:

    Problem is, most officers today treat traffic direction as not very cop-macho. Yesterday, when traffic was grid locked for miles in South Orange County, there wasn’t a Deputy or a CHiP to be seen, unless you were at the Starbucks in Laguna Hills. I’ve seen five Deputies standing on the sidewalk by San Clemente High School during a graduation when the traffic on Pico was backed up onto the freeway. “Not my job” attitude was readily apparent.

    I don’t know where you went to the Basic Academy, but the one I taught in for 14 years spent exactly 1 hour on “Traffic Control.” That was several years ago now and I’d bet there is NOTHING in the Basic any more.

    This day and age even professional law enforcement agencies need good PR; this wasn’t anything but petty.

    1. Astonished says:

      One whole hour huh? Wow!

      Traffic Officers in the City of Los Angeles are required to do two weeks of traffic control training! And some of them still can’t do it right!

  5. goodkid1 says:

    I used to sail with an LAPD heavy weight who, when among friends, would allow that out of any five police officers, there is usually one saint, two average guys…and two deviants that should never have been given a badge. That situation is way below the merits of our own citizenry. And if I hear one more cop whine about how hard his job is, I think I’ll kill myself. Just make space for a better man and quit the force!

    1. Floyd says:

      I once heard that the only difference between a crook and a cop is that the cop has a uniform.

      1. cardgage says:

        You once heard that, eh? Why would you repeat such drivel? There are corrupt cops, but the vast majority are not. what this town is dealing with are some small-minded bureaucrats.

      2. kitt says:

        @cardgage: I agree

      3. Clearjump says:

        Yeah – you heard that from a crook

      4. James says:

        @cardgage: I’ll give you the majority aren’t corrupt. But not the vast majority, which makes it sound even rarer.

        But that’s not the only issue. You don’t have to be corrupt to be a rotten cop. You can follow the letter of the law and not have the best interests of the citizenry at heart. This story, for instance, contains no corruption, but it’s still an outrage that cops actually did this.

      5. sofa says:

        95% give the other 5% a bad name

      6. traderbob says:

        I like the comment about the “small-minded bureaucrats” but isn’t that a bit redundant?

      7. Kevin Wells says:

        @cardgage: Are you familiar with the phrase, “one bad apple spoils the bunch”? Innocent cops covering up for corrupt cops… aren’t innocent. Sorry, bro.

      8. plutosdad says:

        If the good cops protect the bad ones, then the good cops are also bad.
        Cops refuse to testify against other cops, encourage witnesses to drop charges against cops.
        And then when a cop DOES testify against another cop, no matter how bad that other cop is, that good cop suddenly finds himself without backup when he needs it.
        So no, even though there are only a few “bad” cops, the rest of them protect those bad cops and punish any good cop who stand up to him. Their solidarity is more important than being good. That makes them no longer good.

      9. Bob LaBlah says:

        Cardgage is an obvious cop-worshipper, still begging for daddy’s elusive approval. If cops are so great, why is it that, for five times I’ve legitimately needed LAPD help in the past forty years, these uniform-wearing idiots have NEVER done what they were supposed to? Unless they’re collecting revenue, cops not only drop the ball…they don’t even know there’s a ball in play!

    2. Roy Klopfenstein says:

      To stay in the system a policeman must either have below average inteligence or be inteligent enough to pretend below average inteligence. Some time ago a man was rejected by the Hartford police because of excessive IQ. He was promptly hired in San Francisco. Even more tragicly, the teacher’s unions enforce similar standards. If a citizen, interacting with a policeman, uses words of more than one sylable, that citizen will be in danger of being taken in for psychiatric evaluation. Be careful, stupidity is the most dangerous enemy we have.

      1. Barry Legal says:

        And, apparently, the best defense…

    3. ScorchedSean says:

      The So. Pas. police dept. charged me $0.45 to print a police report, and on-top of it, gave me the wrong report and have never returned my calls to acquire the right report for my (total-loss) fire disaster last year.

      Another wonderful experience I had there was when they wanted to charge me $25 to perform a fixit (registration tag) ticket inspection, and $10 to clear the ticket once approved.

      For a city with prime real estate and the tax revenue to match, I am curious which city officials are to blame for these resource issues.

    4. Dirty Harry says:

      Small Balls, even smaller brains.

      “Personnel, personnel is for a**holes”
      “Callahan, I’ll have you know I spent over 10 yrs in personnel”
      “Figures, see what I mean?”

  6. Done and done says:

    Everyone go rent Police Academy 4 Citizens on Patrol. Now, if you had a program like that, without the equivalent of today’s political party as volunteers in the movie, we may see more responsible citizens step up and help out when the city is in a bind. Binding they are, oh political collective heads of knuckle and what this town needs is an enema. Stretching country wide. Our government is to clogged up with S*%! that we need to do a cleansing.

    1. John says:

      Bobcat signed me up for Citizens on Patrol, and we’re still going.

  7. James says:

    Let’s all send them an e-mail and let them know what we think of their recent actions.

  8. goodkid1 says:

    It’s called DISCRETION. A good cop would have thanked him, warned him about his liability if an accident occurred, and sent him on his way. But no…they went about it in the same stupid way so MANY cops handle things these days. Just like recently, when in another Los Angeles suburb, a group of citizens violating some guys rights in some way, so they took pictures of the event. What was the cops response? They went back the next day to that street with a tape measure and started ticketing any car that was not parked exactly within the 8 inch to 16 inch distance from the curb. Who in the world hires these thin-skinned insecure sociopaths, and then gives them a gun? Do the chiefs have the same thug mentality that are shown every day in their subordinates….or what? I am confused…..

    1. goodkid1 says:

      Sorry about my writing above. It should be……..a group of citizens watching the COPS violating some guys rights……. my bad, my dumb….. lolol.

    2. Tony says:

      You’re right… Cops have discretion. But did we all fail to address the part that someone called them to complain about Mr.Ehrlich? When I call the cops and want them to take care of a traffic or noise issue, I want people fined so they don’t do it again. Not some stupid warning so that the people will continue their behavior as soon as the cop goes away. Again, I fault the City. Not the actions of the officer.

      1. Alan E repsonds says:

        Tony, I don’t believe it was a citizen who called the police department to complain, but more likely a Parking Enforcement Officer who ratted me out.. Note, the PEO was able to get through the intersection in a timely manner because I had cleared the traffic backup.and made no effort to stop and assist or issue me a warning. No doubt because their job description was strictly parking enforcement and no doubt they were not expertly trained in traffic control.

      2. bigwhitedog says:

        Dear Alan E.

        Thank you for your service on this 9/11 weekend. You’re always welcome in Aliso Viejo, Orange County. To the rest of the LEO’s (including my brother in U.S.Customs), thanks for making our country LESS safer. There’s a war coming, the people vs. LEO’s. Which side will you be on?

    3. Rick G says:

      Tony, it is not really about what you want.

      The police are supposed to have enough good judgement (If they don’t, they certainly should not be allowed to carry guns) to make a decision on the spot as to whether the guy is helping or hurting the situation. If it is just some nut in the middle of the intersection waving his arms, he should be removed. If the guy knows how to direct traffic, he should be told, “Thank you” and left alone.

      Just because a citizen– even if that citizen is you– makes a call to police, that does not mean the citizen knows best.

    4. J.R Dobbs Jr. says:

      @Tony- You mean they called and wanted to know why they should pay your near six figure salary when a civilian was doing your job better than you do it for free. I suppose we should applaud your forbearance….you only played Revenooer with him rather than tazing or shooting the guy dead for defying the Will of the State.

    5. Palmer1943 says:

      Well stated. It’s a good thing Mr Ehlrich did not try to video tape the incident, you know these nut jobs would have really tried to crucify him. Where is the common sense?

  9. Officer Payne says:

    South Pasadena prides itself in being a small city with its own PD. So that means that there should be plenty of fuzz to protect and “serve” the citizens. South Pasadena is a joke.

  10. Jeff says:

    If you would spend this much time and energy on fixing the problems this country in dealing with real problems (e.g. healthcare reform, immigration issues, jobs, people losing their homes, etc), maybe things would start changing. But you would rather waste time on some idiotic, so called “news story” about some guy getting a citation for standing in the middle of the street. WHO CARES!!!!!! It must have been a very, very, very, slow news day.

    If the whiner baby doesn’t like getting the citation, go to traffic court. Its his right, just like everyone, to take the matter to court. If the judge dismisses the citation the big whiner is out no money. If he is found guilty, suck it up, pay it, and move on. I can’t believe all of this nonesense and what people waste their time on. Next thing you know, one of you will want a statue of him to be put up!!!!! Amazing!!!!!!

    Tony, there is no need to argue with these people. Its obvious by the comments they don’t like the police because they probably have gotten a ticket, or arrested, for something and they blame the police for the law they violated.

    1. joey says:

      It’s the unthinking elitist sadist thinking by jerks like you who have people hating cops. The fact you pigs thinks you can push people around sickens the mind. You’re no American who Swore to uphold the constitution. Don’t cry next time the taxpayers vote to cut your funding.

    2. Sybill says:

      Jeff, How do you know this man is out no money? He might very well have to take time off work to respond to the petty and malicious ticket. Whether or not he is out money, he has to make time.

      Based on your post, I presume you to be a police officer. It’s cops like you who are to blame for the hostility between cops and the citenzry. It’s no longer “to protect and serve.” It’s now become “I’m carrying a gun, and you’ll do as I say.”

    3. Jeff M says:

      Look at the cop blowing up! go get a donut and shut up.

    4. RJ O'Guillory says:

      No Skippy,…

      …..we don’t “hate the police” because we got a “ticket or something”,…
      we hate the police who have become more and more like the “secret police” of our upbringing,…the type of folks who act like they belong as the bad guy on a tacky “mission Impossible” episode from the 1970s,…we hate the police because the majority of them are directly corrupt, or are complicit in the corrupt actions of fellow police officers.

      …we hate the police because they are being used to cram a fascist environment and culture down our throats and we are no longer going to stand by and allow that to happen,…we hate the police because they think they can beat, abuse and violate our rights,…and they think they can continue to do so without paying a price!

      The best part is that corrupt police around the country are beginning to pay a price,…either through disciplinary actions brought on by the citizens, or by being shot dead by the citizens whom they claim to be protecting.

      …Jeff,..if you’d really like to understand the deep hatred most Americans have developed for their,.. “police forces”,…perhaps you should go back and try to understand what America was supposed to be about,..?

      I know sometimes learning new information about the Constitution and realizing how dense we have been in the past can be difficult to deal with,…but I’m sure with a little effort,…and grown-up experience,…maybe you’ll just mature into a thinking citizen,…instead of the uninformed plant you seem to have grown into…


      RJ O’Guillory
      Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

      1. kitt says:

        @RJ O’Guillory , Guess it depends on the company you keep. I don’t think “most Americans” have developed hatred for police. I don’t know a single person who does, and have no acquaintances that I know of who do either, and I know a lot of people and have lived in different states on both coasts.

      2. Pockets64 says:

        I’m not too sure I agree with your claim of everyone hating police.

        However, I would say that in plenty of communities the police are pushing their citizenry down that road. Look at the case of the police ticketing the person who was rushing to the emergency room. Look to Robinson, IL where a guy faces life in prison for standing in his own yard video taping the police. Look to the many cases of police bullying citizens for using cameras in perfectly legal situations.

        I fear more times than not laws are being created on the spot or twisted simply because the officer does not like what he sees.

        That is what will build the environment O’Guillory is talking about. But I don’t think we are in that world yet.

      3. 99guspuppet says:

        I am 60 years old and have watched the police gain more and more power ….. regulators interfere with daily life …. and unlike crooks, they can often laugh in your face. Cops are no more moral than the average person and often worse.

        I directed traffic once and was making a bad situation better. I bet that is what was happening in this situation.

    5. Rick G says:

      So, you want to whine about fixing healthcare, immigration and whatever, but when a citizen actually does something to try to fix a smaller problem,, you start complaining that it is distracting us from bigger problems.

      Illegal immigration used to be a much smaller problem, but nobody stepped up to fix it. Now it is a big problem.

      This guy saw a small problem and tried to help. But you think he should now have to spend his time defending his actions in court– no problem, you say. It is just his time that is being wasted, so who cares?

      You are not helping. You are the distraction. People like you are the reason others do not step in to help when there is a problem. Yet, you complain that nobody is fixing the country’s problems. What a brilliant argument.

      You might want to take a break and re-think your comments.

    6. NerdGirl88 says:

      Jeff, Actually no, I don’t like is because as someone who comes from a family full of good cops, I am sick and tired of bad cops being allowed to make all cops jobs more difficult. Just as with ANY other profession, there are ALWAYS bad employees. Yet, for some reason if anyone remotely suggests a teacher, soldier, or police officer is a bad employee, the response isn’t “Well, maybe they aren’t cut out to be a ________” but to defend and protect the bad employee. Why are these professions somehow immune from any criticism?

      My grandfather (who practically raised me) was a very well-respected cop for over 40 years in one of America’s most dangerous cities. He even had to run the gruesome call of his own father’s murder. He was a training sergeant for many of those years because he wanted to make sure the “newbies” were good. As the years went on, he slowly saw the quality of the typical recruit plummet and therefore the caliper of the average cop follow close behind it. Yet, the departments seemed unconcerned. He finally became fed up with the practice of accepting bad recruits and closing ranks around bad cops. So, he turned down a higher position and retired earlier than anticipated in 1992.

      I have never been pulled over, received a ticket/citation, or ever even been reprimanded by a cop or a security guard for that matter. I briefly considered BECOMING a cop myself at one time since so many are in my family, but did not after sitting in on training and feeling the same disgust my grandfather did.

      So, again, just to reiterate. I’m anti-BAD cop – not anti-cop in general. I am anti-bad cop because I have so much respect for those who are good cops and I am tired of seeing the profession made harder for them because people can’t accept the reality that the police departments are not somehow magically immune from ever having bad employees.

      1. twfb says:

        The few “Good” cops left, better get busy cleaning out all of the bad cops that they usually cover for. I think it’s over the bell curve and 51+% are corrupt. Gee, I can’t tell the good from the bad, because they all look alike to me.

    7. The Musket says:

      And even if he is out ‘no money’, he is still out his time. There is more to life than money.

      This topic is exactly what we need to hear more about. It’s the creeping nanny state, the creeping ‘you need a trained expert’ that is killing our country. Healthcare, immigration, jobs, etc – are all just a symptom of the government taking control in such an idiotic way.

      We are a nation that chooses to be governed, not a nation that is ruled. We need to remember it and fight back in every way at our disposal.

    8. Alan E says:


      If the police chief spent as much time working with the other city leaders and department heads to address and solve the traffic control problem, rather than defending the questionable judgement and actions of his officers (the blue code) and complaining about lack of resources, none of us would be having this discussion. For those with jobs, we’re all living in a world of having to do more with less resources, and probably not too happy about it. But that is the real world, whether you are a private business or government employee. One of the best corporate managers I ever worked for always said, ‘this is what we have to work with, bring me solutions, not excuses.”

      1. critic says:

        thank you, Allen

    9. Roy Klopfenstein says:

      Proactive law enforcement has created an environment where youth of good character do not even consider law enforcement. High ranking police have expressed perplexity that hgh pay and good benifits do not attract and retain the highly motivated; failing to understand that true vocation is not so driven. Thus the police are drawn from the mediocre at best and the sociopathic at worst. If you call 911 you may get a good officer, but if you go about your lawful business you are endanger of attracting the notice of the worst. Therefore law abiding people disproportionately interact with the worst, whom the authorities diligently protect

    10. babs says:

      great idea James!!! Jeff you probably weren’t in that traffic jam! Then you’d be grateful!

    11. george says:

      @Jeff: Haven’t you heard? The problems you cite (healthcare reform, immigration issues, jobs, people losing their homes) have all been solved by Obama already. Check out (1) Obamacare, (2) back-door amnesty of illegals by executive order, (3) “pass this jobs bill now!!”, and (4) sub-prime mortgages doled out like Halloween candy. What is left to solve?

    12. roman says:

      I wonder if the First Responders on 9/11 at Ground Zero felt this way. I doubt it. There are numerous stories of citizens directing traffic during the response, actions that were thanked and praised by the NYPD. These citizens enabled a quicker response. These same citizens took off their coats, rolled up their sleeves and helped direct traffic, move debris, carry stretchers etc. Should they be ticketed? And before you tell me the situations are not the same I would argue that while they are not, certainly the citizens feeling of civic duty was similar. I would hate for my fellow man to sit and look on while they would have otherwise helped because they are afraid of persecution. Shouldn’t we start worrying more about whether some “law” was broken and more about whether a CRIME was committed? Unless this guy caused a worse situation or an accident, what CRIME was committed?

      Ridicules. Again, let’s worry about crime and stop these persecutions of otherwise innocent citizens due to the violation of some nitpicking, authoritarian “law.”

    13. plutosdad says:

      So let’s not fix small problems only large ones?
      Society is built from the ground up, from all the interactions of individuals.
      What good is a country where we have universal healthcare, but everyone is evil to each other as much as they can be within the letter of the law?
      If you want major reforms, we need a society made up of people who want to help each other and are encouraged to do so.

      So you say there are problems with society
      People stand up to fix those problems
      Those people get punished
      What happens with the next even bigger problem, like healthcare?
      What happens when a doctor wants to help a patient but insurance companies nor the government will help?
      It doesn’t get solved, because the people who would help get punished.

  11. Dexter says:

    Half the power in Southern California was out yesterday and traffic signals were out. Naturally traffic backs up. To deify this guy for dressing up like a cal-trans worker and directing traffic is insane. How is this news?

    Also “to protect and serve” is the motto of LAPD, not police in general.

    1. Moses Brown says:

      Obviously, it’s not the motto of the South Pasadena Police Department. That’s an absolute certainty!

      1. RickVB says:

        Dexter perfectly exemplifies the difference between a conservative and a liberal – He “deifies” the big public institution, while assigning insanity to any individual showing initiative. Cal-trans workers are somehow capable, while YOU and any other indepent-thinking person is out of line and a nut.

    2. Pockets64 says:

      A guy putting on an orange shirt so he can be seen is dressing up like a cal-trans worker?

      Also, no one is deifying. Just defending a guy who being punished for taking the initiative to fix a bad situation.

      As far as government is concerned, everything should be handled at the smallest level possible. In this case that level was the citizen. However, the larger levels always seem to get upset when a smaller level does the job the larger level refuses to do. I say that since they took a pass, it was up to someone to fix the problem. The larger level lost their right to whine.

      So, yes. The one doing the whining is not the guy who said, “$50 or $400, it doesn’t matter” but the bad apple who wrote the ticket.

      1. Alan E says:


        Amen my brother. Your words are the truth.

    3. Alan E says:

      Dex, this failed signal had nothing to do with the major power outage that affected Arizona and parts of Southern Cal. This was a very local event. Traffic lights at all adjacent intersections were operating normally.

    4. PavePusher says:

      So a citizen steps up to make an improvement, and you castigate people for admiring him?

      Example #1 of what is wrong with U.S. society today: The “Don’t get involved” philosophy.

  12. Buffers says:

    Obviously the coppers were too busy eating donuts to direct traffic!

    1. academiamole says:

      That’s a stale joke.

      1. Jeff M says:

        Says the cop!

      2. byebyebarry says:

        Jeff, you’re obviously pun-impaired.

      3. Jeff M says:

        You dont know what a pun is, apparently. Did you see one somewhere punny man?

  13. Robin says:

    Good Lord! You whiny liberal children can’t even recognize sarcastic humor.

  14. Scudbuster says:

    “South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers at Fair Oaks and Huntington Thursday and that is safer to allow traffic to back up.”

    But you had the manpower to send someone to ticket him?

    1. J.R Dobbs Jr. says:

      tickets = Revenue for the State = more overtime for them protecting the liberal elites from thier voter base.

      1. Hagbard Celine says:

        Looks like South Pasedena has a serious lack of slack.

        All Praise Bob!

      2. george says:

        Cops are usually repuke-licans, though.

  15. MarkOden says:

    It must have been against union rules.

  16. Ben says:

    That police chief should lose his job.

  17. Coral says:

    We used to call things like stepping in and directing traffic a “good deed”. We would thank that person for their pro-active help or explain the liability involved in their action although it was meant well. Now we wait for an “authorized” person or we ticket good actions. How stupid have we become?

  18. Michael D Baudry says:

    It has already been “court tested”,,,, Your police dept is a “after the fact” unit…. That is why I never call the police or a atty….. I’ll handle it….
    As Daddy said, ” The only story told at the end of the day will be mine.”

  19. Alan says:

    Big Government = No Common Sense

  20. George Marchand says:

    Protecting their turf

  21. Rick says:

    I wonder who called the police on him in the first place. They were probably obliged to come for liability reasons after someone called them.

    1. Alan E says:


      As near as I can guess, it wasn’t a ‘citizen’ who called the police to complain. About 10 minutes before the police rolled up, a parking enforcement vehicle passed through the intersection (quickly and easily I might add thanks to my volunteered assistance to improve conditions at the intersection). I have no doubt that it was the Parking Enforcement Officer, who did not himself stop and attempt to assist, who called it in to Dispatch.

    2. John Walters says:

      yup…Lawyers and Accountants have us in a bind

  22. David says:

    I think the idiot officer(s) who wrote that ticket should be required to pay it by the municipal judge.

  23. answer4everything says:

    Politicians and cops everywhere wonder why there is no respect for the law. This story is a prime example of why. When the law punishes a good citizen for stepping up; when the law punishes children for operating lemonade stands, then the law is an a$$. And it is impossible to have respect for an a$$.

  24. John Campbell says:

    Sense when has volunteering to direct traffic been a crime? I’ve done it countless times over the years and in many States because I’m a professional trucker and many loading/unloading situations demand that it be done for public safety. I’ve even had the local cops supply me with traffic cones to assist in the effort.

    That court needs to be packed with angry citizens to tell the over reaching government where to stuff it.

  25. Allan Levine says:

    If the cops gave someone a ticket in my town for stepping up in their absence, someone would be in trouble. If they were so worried about his ability to do the job right, they could have just politely told him to stop as others have said. This is a very valid news story. Do people in Pasadena believe the police should act without deference and always choose to be “Pricks”?

  26. David Sparkman says:

    Dang, common sense and helping others is illegal, should have known .

  27. jdt44 says:

    Surely there must have been some lemonade stands that needed shutting down.

  28. Louis William Rose says:

    We delegate our indidvidual police powers to the police. At any time a citizen may reclaim those powers to arrest a felon or perform any task that benefits his fellow citzens.

  29. Greg says:

    I find this story timely. About two weeks ago the 3 way traffic light, next to where I park my hot dog truck, wasn’t working. I watch traffic there all day everyday, gotta be at least 1000 vehicles/hr go through there. Horns honking, tires squealing and the occasional fender bender. The day the light didn’t work…nothing. No back ups, a few horn honks but nothing more. The traffic flowed like water all day. My take from the impromptu experiment is that a small number of inconsiderate drivers have forced the gov’t to regulate our movement to the detriment of the environment and productivity. Not a huge breakthrough, but interesting to see play out.

    1. RJ O'Guillory says:


      …I can’t recall which states are involved,..but there is an experiment going on up in the four-corners area ,Wyoming, S. Dakota, Utah?, ..somewhere like this,… where four states touch,…in those counties that border each other, they have eliminated speed limits, stop signs and every other impediment to traffic flow, and they are experimenting with a “no rules zone”,..which from what I’ve read, is doing wonderfully.

      If I recall correctly, they state that their accidents are down, the law enforcement labor is better used investigating crimes with real victims, etc.

      So, your point is spot on,..the less regulation, the more responsible the drivers are, and,… the more courteous the whole driving experience.


      RJ O’Guillory
      Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

    2. Noelle says:

      It’s called “spontaneous order” and they are trying it out in several cities in ENgland:

  30. john says:

    the police want obedience, not responsibility. no wonder people hate them.

  31. dirty harry says:

    ” that is safer to allow traffic to back up” the police chief is a meat-head…dead from the neck up!

  32. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn says:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
    — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    1. aubreyfarmer says:

      And the same wicked influence that comprised the Cheka (secret police) in Bolshevik Russia is now in control of our government. There are many similarities between what happened in Czarist Russia, Nazi Germany and currently in the US. Naomi Wolf does a very good job of pointing out the parallels in her 10 steps to fascism seminar.

      1. J.R Dobbs Jr. says:

        You should read Gulag Archipelago…you’d be shocked at the magnitude of the lies the liberal Democrats told for years about the last 30 years of the Romanov’s reign to shill for thier Bolshevik idols.

  33. Randy says:

    What did the ticket charge? It will be adjudicated in Civil Court. If the man didn’t violate anyone’s civil rights and there was no injured party, what standing is there in a Civil court? NONE. The court cannot take cognizance of the case.

    1. Alan E says:


      The ticket is CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 27956(a) Pedestian in Roadway. I will need to fight it in traffic court, not civil court, where we know that Traffic Commissioners rule in favor of the police 99.9% of the time.

      1. Alan E says:

        correction, CVC 21956(a)

  34. mac says:

    THE REAL PROBLEM here is that the so called “authorities” are saying the ordinary citizen does not have the “right” to step in and try to help control a chaotic and dangerous situation! That ordinary citizens are NOT ALLOWED to be responsible.
    I HOPE EVERY CITIZEN attends the City Council meeting and DEMANDS that ticket be rescinded IMMEDIATELY!
    If this is not Gestapo tactics I don’t know what are. TAKE CONTROL citizens. WHAT exactly LAW did he break anyway?

    1. emileelee says:

      Mac — well said:
      “That ordinary citizens are NOT ALLOWED to be responsible.”

      This is what I see more and more. I understand on one hand why police would be concerned about citizens randomly directing traffic or doing any number of “helpful” things — but when the person is helping and they can’t (or won’t?) do it, why can’t THEY exercise some judgment, direcgt what resources where they’re needed, and leave that situation be?

      It’s like bureacratic policy has replaced the right to exercise COMMON SENSE. The “authorities” must run everything. They don’t WANT citizens being self reliant. They insist THEY do the whole job — and they create the “need” for higher taxes and more union employees by doing a poor job.

  35. Phillep Harding says:

    The cop had time to get through the traffic jam, but not enough time to deal with it? Hmmmm.

  36. John says:

    “Didn’t have the manpower”…??? They had the manpower to issue a ticket! This guy got punished for being a proactive citizen — bogus ticket IMHO

  37. Hank Warren says:

    Useless cops arresting useful citizens, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  38. rex dart eskimo spy says:

    the joy of public sector unions. i guess crime is so rampant that these fine officers can’t be bothered to work traffic and actually make things better for the working idiots who pay their salaries.

  39. TimBalto says:

    Years of training to direct traffic at an intersection?!? Give me a break, I’ve seen cadets as young as 19-20 years old directing traffic. (Btw- you’re no cop).

    “South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers at Fair Oaks and Huntington Thursday and that is safer to allow traffic to back up.”

    What a comnplete moron! Safer to create an evnvironment for multiple accidents? Road Rage? This clown should be fired immediately. Is this what “years” of training produce?????

    1. Jon Weiss says:

      Soldiers with as little as 8 weeks training conduct traffic control. It isn’t rocket science.

  40. Bobolinski says:

    Government is as government does. I can’t wait for Obamacare.

  41. Darrell says:

    It appears the police had a problem with Ehrlich not because of any civil disobedience but because he crossed onto what they apparently consider to be their exclusive domain. To issue him a citation is most certainly important news and anyone suggesting it’s not news or that it is a trivial matter is obviously attempting to protect their own. The police action is absurd to the point of making Pasadena police appear petty and ridiculously silly, not only to Californians but to the nation. The message is clear. This is not your city, it is ours. You just pay the taxes and stay off our turf. Remember that the next time an officer is being overwhelmed by a bad guy and desperately needs a good Samaritan to assist them. “It ain’t my problem, bud. Remember”?

  42. Lawrewnce Ipsum says:

    >we do it gooder
    >do it gooder
    MFW I have no face.

  43. selfprotectself says:

    This is the the problem with a broken system, its all about making the money not the safety of the people.

  44. Al says:

    I can’t blame the police for not wanting to stand at street level in front of four streams of traffic coming right at them, with cars driven by angry, frustrated drivers. Not worth the risk. The drivers will get where they’re going eventually.

    1. Jim in VA says:

      Al, if they don’t want to do such police work perhaps they should not become police officers.

  45. OptiMystic says:

    It’s fine if the police don’t have enough resources to man an intersection when the light goes out. But for crying out loud, then, let people take it upon themselves to help out! If they think this guy needs training to do this, then offer him the training rather than writing him a ticket. Is it any wonder why people think twice before helping out in their community? THis guy either has to not only worry about some dingbat stuck in traffic suing him for his good deed, NOW he has to be concerned that the authorities too will punish him for helping out. Unbelievable. Don’t let this go unchallenged Pasadena! It’s YOUR community, not the police.

  46. picolo111111 says:

    Tony must be a lawyer or a union rep for the PBA. The guy went out and did something good and is penalized for it. People wonder why police don’t receive community support. The good will of just sending the guy packing and having an officer take over the traffic duties would have been too much for these mental midgets.

  47. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

    More fascism from the degenerates in their costumes, paid with your wealth, extracted through taxation with the threat of deadly force if you don’t pay their salaries.

  48. Elvis says:

    At one time the police would serve and protect the people. Now its all about the money and quota.

  49. Marbran says:

    Cops exist to enforce laws…not to serve and protect. In Warren v. DC, the court ruled that cops cannot be held accountable for failing to protect. In that 1975 case, three women were held captive, raped, beaten, and forced to perform sexual acts on each other over a period of 14 hours. One had called the police when the intruders initially broke in, but the cops that were sent to the house did not thoroughly investigate the scene before moving on. A second call early into the attack resulted in more cops arriving, but again none of them thoroughly investigated. The women sued the DC police and lost. So remember…cops are there to enforce laws, period.

    1. Jim in VA says:

      Gee, they did a fine job of enforcing the law didn’t they. People were being held against their will and raped. Last time I checked, there are still laws against both of those.

  50. Tarantula says:

    What was the ticket for? Blocking traffic? What was the violation?

  51. Vito LaBella says:

    Wonder who the “snitch” was. The article states the cops received a report of a man directing traffic. To whomever that two-legged sack of refuse is, congratulations for getting a fellow citizen with good and decent intentions into trouble. Funny thing is that HE got off his behind and did something to help while all the snitch could see fit to do was complain to the cops, mostly likely while up for a P break during a TV commercial.

    1. Neblo Krakondack says:

      Most likely an off-duty cop.

      1. Jeff M says:

        Cop! Only a cop thinks like that.

  52. ssquared says:

    So the Pasadena PD prove they have the same political accuity as BARRick (that’s how Sr. pronounced it) Ovomit Jr.

    Amazingly tone deat!

    1. Pasadena Resident says:

      This happened in South Pasadena, a different city from Pasadena.

  53. Miguel says:

    Double the ticket and give one each to the ticketing officer and to the police chief, . . After retracting this man’s ticket and apologizing to him.

  54. Moovee Atty says:

    where did it say they “called to complain” about mr. ehrlich’s actions? it just said they called to inform about “their newest traffic officer”. perhaps they were commending him and trying to embarrass the force for not doing their job properly. but not complaining about ehrlich. and exactly what ordinance did he violate?

  55. Hal says:

    Where’s the mayor in this issue? A good citizen stepped up and was slapped down with fine for doing the right thing. The handling of this incident sends a message to the general population, which is “Sit down and shut up.” I’m a little surprised the good man who “stepped up” didn’t spend the night in jail.

  56. Timmy says:

    Time to recall that police chief! Not enough resources to staff lazy bureaucrats that refuse to deviate from the status quo and punish noble civilians for helping. Pack your bags you lazy SOB!!!!

  57. Carol Crowe says:

    Best comment of the day!!

  58. Matt Wood says:

    how do you know someone complained? Maybe the caller was just calling to get the police out there to takeover from the citizen who ha had no choice but to step up to the plate beacuse the traffic was so backed up.

    There is nothing in this story that would lead anyone to believe that Mr. Ehrlich did anything reckless while directing traffic.

  59. bruce lee says:

    I think we are missing the bigger picture here. The traffic light has gone out many times, and creates a 30 min traffic jam. The police show up too shoo away a local good neighbor, yet don’t leave uniformed offficer to fix the problem. And the city doesn’t fix the light permenatly. So far so good we understand the story. The chief claims lack of resources and I’m sure the city does too in respect to fixing said light. So that only leaves the city gov creating a problem so the frustrated citizens demand action. And the gov says ok, but we need more taxes to A fix the light or B hire more officers. Because I won’t believe the city can’t fix a light or put a cop on that light. Wake up people, stop focusing on the resulting problem and look at the source of the problem. In this case its the gov.

    1. Alan E says:

      B Lee, It’s worse than that. On 2/16/2011 I appeared in front of the City Council when a virtually identical event occurred at this same intersection. Like many people, I am not very active when it comes to local politics, but am active in many other ways within the community, which depends on volunteers to help our schools, libraries, sports leagues etc. For me to get off my lazy ass, attend and speak at a Council meeting, it had to be a one hellacious traffic situation that demanded a better policy and response from our Elected officials. No city official, elected or otherwise, can claim ignorance of the potential types of traffic problems that could occur if/when this specific signal were to fail again.

    2. emileelee says:

      This is what I sense — It’s possible they want the traffic backed up at that intersection because it inconveniences a ton of “voters” who (they hope) will suddenly see the “need” for higher taxes and more cops…

      I have actually had government employees brag to me about how they choose what they do and not do in order to create an impression of the need for more money. The example I was given was that they stopped putting toilet paper in public restrooms at the park when citizens voted against raising taxes for the parks and recreation. Their attitude was — don’t give us more money? We’ll show you what a big mistake that was…!

  60. Julia Thompson says:

    “South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers at Fair Oaks and Huntington Thursday and that is safer to allow traffic to back up.” YOU SIR ARE A WALKING ADVERTISEMENT FOR POST ABORTION RIGHTS >>>WHAT AN A ****HOLE

  61. Jeff M says:

    Yes! Where’s the mayor! Time for the elected officials to speak up!

  62. PolishRifle says:

    Why should they? They’re public sector employees, thinking only about their pensions, and how to bilk the taxpayer out of overtime.

  63. Mike Calibrisi says:

    Let me get – protecting Union jobs again?

  64. George says:

    This is purely Obama and his gang of hoods fault !

  65. cathy says:

    OBAMA’S FAULT!!!!!

  66. Mighty Mike says:

    Typical Government efficiency….they didn’t have the manpower/resources to have an officer direct the traffic, but had the manpower/resources to dispatch an officer to write a ticket to the civilian…..revenue chasing rather than protecting the public….what happened to the oath the officers swore to when taking their position:
    “To Protect & Serve”……lot of BS here….

    1. jjbu says:

      Not one officer but 2. One writing a ticket while the other standing there watching the traffic jam.

  67. Igor Doublebubblevich. says:

    when at winchels the donut eaters donot want to be disturbed.

  68. PES says:

    “The fact that the state is knowingly ignoring its own laws in order to engage in acts of official repression highlights the rampant criminality that has infested every level of American government. This behavior is reflective of a predatory system that seeks to criminalize all activities.”

  69. Canof Sand says:

    Keep your lamebrained insults to yourself, punk. What are you, an anarchist? Or do you just anecdotal incidents like this (which are often no doubt totally ridiculous, as this one is; they should commend him, not punish him) drive your opinion on the police as a whole instead of making an intelligent, well-informed analysis?

    1. Neblo Krakondack says:

      he’s simply making an observation, and from where I stand, a valid one. Why the hysterical response, you a cop?

    2. von Dutch says:

      Next time, try stringing random words together. That might make more sense than this mess ^^^.

  70. can says:

    This man has to get the ticket ’cause he is not a member of Police’s union

  71. Miguel Saavadera says:

    Lets see, if you earn $20 an hour, and you are delayed by this non-working traffic light, or the city/police who are not helping to reduce congestion … that means you are out $10 (for a thrity minute wait). As they say time is money… Let me repeat that ….


    … Present the bill to South Pasadena, and if they do not pay, take them to small claims court … IF enough citizens react, they will see the LIGHT and fix the darn thing.

    Get involved, make stuff happen … DO NOT SIT ON YOUR HANDS AND SAY OH, WELL!

  72. Mannie says:

    Police responded to the scene and told Ehrlich to stop and issued him a ticket, but never stepped into direct traffic themselves.

    We’re from the government. We’re here to help you.

  73. Billy says:

    Yes, he should be issued a ticket for orderly conduct.

  74. kitt says:

    You can also get a ticket for “directing traffic” when you use your hand to wave on another driver to go first at an intersection. That’s what I’ve been told, it’s a technicality and who knows if it will ever happen.

    1. Rick G says:

      That’s directing traffic?

      This country has a problem, all right. It is that every nitwit who gets elected to office thinks his job is to make new laws. Doesn’t matter if we need them or not.

      How many times have you heard in a debate that one person has not proposed any new legislation, has no bills with his or her name on it, blah blah ? That is regarded as someone who is ineffective. But we should be thanking that person.

      We have pretty much all the laws we need, but there are so many of them, they are either unknown or are in conflict with other laws.

      Maybe we need a moratorium on new laws/

  75. Had Enough says:

    I am so tired of idiots telling me that they’re going to protect me and my family. For those of you who love and support fascism, let me ask you a couple of questions:

    1. Where were the cops when Katrina hit NOLA?
    2. Where were the cops here?
    3. Where are the cops WHENEVER you actually need them?

    I’ll tell you where they are. They’re writing tickets and citing citizens who are doing what they are supposed to be doing. The citizenry of this great nation is more than capable of taking care of itself. Smart cities everywhere are getting rid of their police forces. Pasadena should evaluate what they’re getting for their money and then act accordingly.

    1. J.R Dobbs Jr. says:

      1. Where were the cops when Katrina hit NOLA?

      Well, some were out looting, others were shooting black people trying to escape town before the NJ State Police, CHiPs, and Blackwater mercs specially imported for the purpose could round them up and throw them in a FEMA camp to fend for themselves. Oh, and then steal your guns and TVs.

  76. Timuchin says:

    Too many tickets and he won’t be allowed to be a pedestrian for a year!

  77. Truthsayer221 says:

    So, had the goor Mr.Ehrlich interupted say a rape, would he also then be cited? Shame on the P.D. IDIOT’S!

    1. AlanE says:

      No, but the Perp probably would sue me for ’emotional distress’ or for interfering with his business.

  78. JPPEZZ23 says:

    I agree and i’m a retired policfe officer fromN.J.We would have thanked the man then took over the traffic detail.

    1. kitt says:

      @JPPEZZ23: The way it should have been done!

  79. Jimmy says:

    They gave him a ticket and made him stop? Traffic no doubt got backed up again. Why didn’t they put an officer there? Not enough help? Well then let the good Samaritan do a good deed! These cops were either prideful that only they could do what the man was doing or they were stupid and didn’t use any common sense. I say a little of both had folks sitting in their cars wasting gas and time unnecessarily.

    1. John says:

      Police think they are the only ones that can direct people and carry a weapon. He probably made it look easy to clear up the traffic. If they have enough man power to send the officer to issue a ticket, why could he not take over. Guess he had to get back to his donut

    2. ranroddeb says:

      The cops were just preventing this “scab” from doing a union job without paying dues

    3. Ryder says:

      How can they have enough manpower to issue tickets to excellent citizens, but NOT have the manpower to work an intersection.

      Welcome to the police state.

    4. Mike D says:


      With all the sue happy lawyers there are out there – and this surprises anyone!!??

      So – if someone hits this “good Samaritan” – who picks up his medical bills and losses? The city no doubt – it was on city property.

      While I commend the motivation to fix a problem on Mr. Ehrlich part, but we ALSO need to remember, we as ‘arm chair’ critics are NEVER privey to all the details – ESPECIALLY if is MSM reporting on it.

      1. Chad says:

        This is more an issue of the police union not liking that a good Samaritan was able to do the job they were too lazy to do. Can’t have an 80k/yr officer spend 10 minutes to make citizens life better when he can come by after the fact and generate some revenue for the city after all.

        The cop that issued the ticket needs to be knocked down a rung on his promotion ladder. And the taxpayers in and around South Pasadena need to think long and hard of the lack of value they’re getting in supporting these won’t-work cops.

      2. anonymous says:

        Google Earth Fair Oaks Ave. and Huntington Dr. 91030 and tell me this wasn’t a publicity stunt!!!!!

      3. marg1 says:

        If that is the case, then there was no need for a ticket. How dare a citizen try to do what only a union worker can do.

        The cop and Joe Payne HAVE to be Democrats.

  80. Billy says:

    Same mindset as the mindset that attacked Richard Jewell–the guard who was crucified after he found the bomb at the Olympics in Atlanta.

    Same mindset that told airline passengers not to resist during the 9/11 hijacking.

    Same mindset that wants the people disarmed so they can’t protect themselves and their families and neighbors.

    Cops upset because they want to feel needed. Cops more concerned with protecting their monopoly than about serving the people.

  81. Jim says:

    Just one more example of really stupid, arrogant cops. When I was a kid I was brought up to respect them, but over the years I’ve seen the corruption and arrogance grow in the cop “profession”. It’s not just in CA, but everywhere in the US. Actually they are getting more and more like the “gaiy” and “militsia” in the former Soviet Union.

    1. jerrykregle says:

      thank the friggin unions for that

    2. Mike D says:

      Naa – just another case of ignorant knee jerk reaction BEFORE thinking things out on your own first.

      Roads are who’s property? and if someone is hurt on that property, who picks up that up tab?

      And why is that? because idiot drivers creating traffic jams cant use stop signs like grown adults.

      You guys are complaining about “cops” when you should be complaining about the lax driving requirements and seemingly arbitrary traffic law enforcements – cops have bosses – who have bosses who are elected officials.

      Do you see where I am going with this?

    3. Mark says:

      Its not the cop. Its their Union! Once again unions demonstrating Neanderthal mentality.

    4. Chief Fife says:

      Mark Easton BBC News

      15:16 UK time, Friday, 9 September 2011
      When it comes to policing, a new study suggests it is not how many officers you have that matters, but what you do with them.

  82. WayneLLewis says:

    Reminds me of the scene from “Patton” when he gets out of his staff car and starts directing the two divisions moving through an intersection.

  83. 51Phantom says:

    The police didn’t have the man power to direct traffic at that intersection….but did have the man power to go there and ticket the person doing their job.

    1. sjay1 says:

      my thoughts exactly!!!

    2. jjbu says:

      From SP Patch, there was not 1 but 2 officers. While one writing the ticket, the other just standing there doing nothing.

    3. rogereggbert says:

      One more reason to give up on California

    4. speedstan says:

      Sounds like the So Pas PD are more interested in protecting their union bennies than protecting and serving…

    5. Yote777 says:

      Well, that ticket generated some revenue.

    6. James says:

      OUTRAGEOUS. Next thing we’ll be ticketing heroes who push people out of the way from getting hit by a train or bus, too. What the hell has happened to this country?

    7. bands says:

      Couldn’t have said it any better!

  84. Rowdy Boots says:

    The man should have claimed he was an illegal alien–then, instead of a ticket, he would have been issued a free college tuition voucher, food stamps, a welfare check and vouchers for his illegal alien children to go to private school.

    Let’s see, what else would he have gotten?

    oh, i forgot, amnesty, free movie tickets, a new car, a free trip to Italy…well, you get the idea.



  85. NOLIES says:

    {We have limited resources . . . we need to prioritize them. One of the major intersections out at rush hour in our city should be a priority,” Ehrlich added).

    This wasn’t the police talking…..this was the UNION talking. 🙁

  86. nunyrbeeswax says:

    I hate to denigrate our first responders but this police “chief” needs to be unemployed

  87. Jim says:

    Short on manpower? They seemed to have enough manpower to send someone over to ticket this guy but not to help resolve the issue, Safer to let the traffic back up? Where do this idiots come from? let alone get into positions like this, government has just gone stupid!!!

  88. Michael Huye says:

    Do you know how many citizen volunteers a city could have from veterans and retired men that would gladly help out in a situation like this….be decent and caring and giving of themselves…..true Christianity on a small scale……but the police choose death by a million paper cuts…..and they wonder why people laugh at them. I guess they can’t get citizens to volunteer due to possible lawsuits, etc.

    There’s always an excuse for sanity to be postponed.

  89. raindog says:

    The cops were probably busy somewhere arresting a child for selling lemonade.

  90. volenteer citizen says:

    can’t have citizens helping out and still try to demand more financing in the budget to pay for more police. if volunteer citiizens will do some of the work then the police union will have no grounds to negotiate for more officers and/or more money. so, leave the public in jepordy and tell tax payers they need to ante up for more protection. simple!

    1. ftreag says:

      I’m beginning to think that is EXACTLY what is the problem all over this country.

    2. Jim from Boston says:

      Hmmm, you may be right. This guy was just a bottom-feeding scab !

      Seriously, as long as he doesn’t draw a left-wing judge this case should get laughed out of court, and the judge should tongue-lash the complaining officers for good measure. What a stupid waste of dwindling court resources.

    3. MrBigW says:

      I’ll go one better , Had a police officer pull up next to a group of us who were dressed as elves while blocking an intersection during a motorcycle toy for tots ride and tell us under GA gang law he could and would arrest us if we didn’t move. Found out latter this county was trying to force the charity to pay double time to use their officers for traffic control…

    4. NooYawkah says:

      I have no doubt that you are correct.

    5. San Francisco Bill says:

      It’s a good thing this didn’t happen in Fullerton, CA. They have a far different way of dealing with uppity citizens. They beat them to death.

    6. David Silver says:

      This is 100% true,
      The unions care about nothing else except keeping their membership dues flowing to fill the Union bosses pockets.

      This country was built on Volunteerism and still is to a major degree.
      South Pasadena should be ashamed of themselves.

    7. Dennis Johnson says:

      Are you and any others who want to be “Helpful” willing to amuse the liability caused by your actions? As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions! Example, if two cars collide at a scene where you are helping, will you be ready for the inevitable lawsuit that arises?
      …me thinks not.

  91. Bill says:

    Follow the dollar. They don’t have enough manpower to devote to something that isn’t a revenue generator. Thus, they can’t send police to direct traffic, but they can send police to issue a citation.

  92. Brian says:

    I’m speechless. Being a Police Officer for 22 years I’ve never seen a more twisted example of arrogance and buffoonery on the part of the police. If the citizens of South Pasadena stand for this they deserve the treatment and service they get from their police. There should be protests in front of the police department until the Chief apologies and the prosecutor’s office drops the charge.

    1. Rick G says:

      Yes. it is bad enough that they stopped the guy from helping. Issuing him a ticket shows awful judgement.

  93. Karl says:

    In the event of trouble pending the arrival of law enforcement or lawlessness (in this case absence of law) it is the duty of competent citizens to manage things where possible. This actually stinks of deliberately misdirected priorities by the police at the safety of the public – I have seen it to get more funding or by unions to justify some agenda.

  94. Lynn says:

    This is outrageous of the Police Dept issuing a ticket to this guy. His intentions were honorable! I have been on the receiving end of a police vendetta against me for investigating my sibling’s suspicious death when they (ppolice) were trying to quickly dispose of it and treated it like a burgalry… I found out that people were waiting to be interviewed and were equally appalled when the police dropped the ball and unwilling per the state’s attorney to conduct an investigation with witness statements. My life is not the same…

  95. Americanadian says:

    Create chaos so the sheeple will demand higher taxes to pay for extra traffic cops.

  96. Forrest Sergente says:

    It’s the police union and local democrat politicians that are behind this stupidity. They just can’t allow us regular citizens to take care of things when they wish to disrupt our lives as an excuse to raise our taxes even more. I mean, look at the simple statement “we lack the manpower” which translates into “we demand more of your money and freedom” rather than “we appreciate the communities help”.

  97. tom adams says:

    instant letter of resignation”

    South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers at Fair Oaks and Huntington Thursday and that is safer to allow traffic to back up.

  98. Andrew says:

    They don’t have the manpower to direct traffic, but they have the manpower to issue a summons/ticket for directing traffic. Bravo!

  99. Bob says:

    I’m a cop and am embarrassed by the real pig who issued the ticket.

  100. RJ O'Guillory says:

    What!…”not trained in traffic direction”,….huh?,… seems for a guy not “trained”, Mr. Ehrlich was doing a great job? …

    I mean, a mile long traffic jam, …cleared up in ten minutes due to his untrained traffic direction,…my gosh, ..imagine how much better job the cops who are “trained” in traffic direction could have done,….? Oh, but I forgot, there were not enough of them to go around, until it was time to write a ticket,….

    What idiocy, first from the cops,…and then from “Tony”,….who, I’ll bet my last dollar, a “rained law enforcement officer”!!!!

    My whole family were corrupt cops,…the breed doesn’t change much from generation to generation….in fact, I wrote a memoir about it called Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family,…

    Cops are just as dumb as the rest of us, they just get to exploit their authority more often,….what idiots,…along with Tony…


    RJ O’Guillory
    Webster GRoves-The Life of an Insane Family

  101. Truth Teller says:

    Someone send for Obama’s uncle’s lawyer. I’m sure she would represent this citizen for no charge. Since she knows how to get a drunk illegal off the hook. This should be a piece of cake.

  102. GusLevy says:

    I was stuck in that traffic that morning and can attest to the chaos that resulted in that residential area due to it. I applaud Mr. Erhlich for his proactive actions for the community: No good deed clearly goes unpunished but in this case I hope that the community ensures that this charge is immediately dropped. The Police Chief is a clown – all the locals in South Pas know that the cops are nothing more than traffic cops who sit in the various local speed traps all day long to issue tickets to those that may be going 28mph in a 25mph zone. How ironic indeed that the Chief has the audacity to claim he had know extra traffic cops that morning!…there were at least 4 of them within a half mile zoning their speed trap areas while the city was in chaos on Huntington…

    1. Alan E says:


      The next City Council meeting is Wed, Oct 5, 6:30pm, I’ve already requested this incident be calendered for discussion. Please be there to tell the Council the impact you saw on the local residential streets as motorists used them to avoid carmageddon and to support my efforts to step up and solve the problem.

  103. Ninth Crusade says:

    He’s lucky they didn’t taser him. If he was in Huntington Beach, they would have beat him to death.

    1. Concerned Citizen says:

      Or Fullerton. Justice 4 Kelly Thomas!

    2. Alan E says:

      But I did allegedly ‘berate’ the officers according to 1 person who was not at the scene.. I wonder if during the alleged berating, had I accidentally spit on one of the officers in my ‘excited condition,’ if that would constitute ‘assaulting a P.O.’ ?

      1. CSMALLO says:

        So, you apparently got a “Contempt of Cop” ticket. i was wondering why ticket you at all. Why not just a friendly , “Liability issues, move along” warning from the cops. But they must not have thought you fluffed them enough so they had to throw their weight around. And yes, if you had accidentally spit on a cop you would have been tazed and spent the next 2 weeks in a coma. There was a case not long ago where the cops charged a man with assault on a PO for passing gas in their direction.

  104. rationalist says:

    Typical California mentality – punish someone for trying to help themselves and others, because it’s governments job to take care of us. They have to get us programmed right, ya know…

  105. Thomas. J says:

    “South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers at Fair Oaks and Huntington Thursday and that is safer to allow traffic to back up.”

    for that remark alone the man should be fired. backed up traffic creates a bottleneck that also delays emergency services. what if there was another fire, hurricane, earthquake or terrorist attack? then more people would be in danger, and there would be even more chaos than there would be if traffic were managed correctly.

    how did that moron ever get to be a police chief?

  106. Patrick says:

    When you get to be my age you come to realize where all the morons in school ended up working. Government jobs.

  107. sfcmac says:

    I sent this email to the PD:

    Let me get this straight: A good citizen by the name of Alan Ehrlich, stepped in to direct traffic at a busy intersection when the light malfunctioned and cars were backed up for more than a mile. He had the traffic flowing smoothly within 10 minutes, yet it took the cops only about five minutes to have fits and issue him a ticket for the kind gesture.

    Your officers are the quintessential bureaucratic morons. Too bad the cop that showed up to issue the citation didn’t actually DO HIS JOB and direct traffic.

    1. Alan E says:

      SFC, Thanks for that, but you should also send it to all 5 councilman and perhaps the City Manager. While I would be the first to say I think SPPD could/should have handled the situation in a different manner, with a different outcome, it is the responsibility of the Elected Council to provide oversight and to set policy and priorities.

  108. FrankieD says:

    In instances where the power goes out the signal controlled intersections legally revert to “uncontrolled” intersectoins by law in CA and drivers are required to follow the Calif Vehicle Code right-of-way protocol for the “uncontrolled” intersection.
    When you have a good/concerned citizen inject him/herself into that situation, you can confuse drivers and accidents can occur. What Mr. Ehrlich did, while good intentioned, could have caused an accident or injury or both. I, as a retired cop would have thanked him but just directed him to stop. He should not have been ticketed unless he defied the officers direction and continued. Just my 2 cents worth.

    1. Rick G says:

      It’s not an uncontrolled intersection if there is omebody there controlling it. The signal going out means it is uncontrolled until and unless someone is on the scene controlling it.

      You think citizens can get confused by somebody controlling traffic? Sure, that can happen, but they were already way beyond confused because they were massively backed up. That does not happen without confusion.

      The guy had experience doing this, and the cops should have pitched in to help “unconfuse” everybody. Instead, they decided to do the most stupid and irresponsible thing. It was the citizen who owned 100% of the good judgement here.

      Years ago, citizens stopped and helped in their communities. This sort of thing was common, as were voulteer firefighters and citizen patrols. Now, thanks to idiot police handing out tickets to citizens trying to help, people don’t want to get involved.

      The actions taken by the police, and the comments by the chief, are a disgrace.

  109. barry1817 says:

    Traffic being backed up is a hazard. This is when you get crazies that jump the line, won’t apply the traffic rules to the intersection, and creates road rage with people sitting and then backing up other intersections.

    Now I am real curious as if this ticket will be contested in court and what a judge would do with it, and what a judge would do after the media gets ahold of the situation.

    We must remember that there are two standards in the world right now. That which is done by people in the dark and that which is done when the light of media is shining.

    And that is the pity with our situation right now. The response to this should be the same, whether hyped or not.

  110. Earl says:

    What else would you expect from the left coast but leftist idiotic decisions by leftist idiotic individuals in power?

  111. Sarcasticus says:

    The best way to insure there will be police officers at that intersection when the power fails would be to open a doughnut shop on that corner.

  112. Rez says:

    In People Speak…this Police Chief and his lawyer are IDIOTS and both deserve to be removed from being Public Servants!!! Trust the new Police Chief will have this policy/department MO fixed!

    Unbelievable “South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers at Fair Oaks and Huntington Thursday and that is safer to allow traffic to back up.”

  113. Bud says:

    “Police and the city of South Pasadena say they currently have no plans to change any procedures.” What procedures-they don’t have any.

  114. Humpy J. Brown says:

    Always remember our motto:

    When seconds count, cops are only MINUTES away. And Police Chiefs are on MARS.

    35 years behind the badge, so I know what I’m talking about.

  115. mrbillybob says:

    Today’s lesson, if you see a problem, move on and let it happen. Don’t get involved because our boys in blue have it covered.

  116. Humpy J. Brown says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! You obviously aren’t a 2011 vintage cop. You’re using common sense.

    Cops today are quick on drawing their pencils. But when there is gunfire, they’re quicker hiding behind their squads and calling for help from the SWAT goons.

  117. Bob says:

    Time for an analogy… I hire a cook. He doesn’t show up. Do I starve? No. I go make my own dinner. I hire a chauffeur. He doesn’t show up. Do I miss my appointment? No. I drive myself. Everyone misses the point. We as a society hire people to administer various facets of our life so we can be organized. THEY WORK FOR US. If our public servants don’t show up or don’t do their assigned job, then we must take over and get it done. Our public servants today are in the process of trying to take over the household and dictate to the owner, instead of doing the jobs they all were hired to do…… In other words, “THE TAIL IS WAGGING THE DOG”………..

    1. Nativam says:

      Excellent point, Bob. However I do have a ‘but’: our public servants work for us as SOVERIGN CITIZENS, not as a mere ‘society’. We are individually SOVERIGN, the kings and queens of our households and property under the U.S. Constitution. It doesn’t promote society as a whole. Crooked, decrepid lawyers like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Charles (Shiester) Schumer don’t want to see this.

  118. DubMet says:

    Utter stupidity on the part of the Police Department and when I say utter, I mean, UTTER stupidity. Shame on you police!!!

  119. Dave M says:

    Typical California…

  120. Chris says:

    This is just another example of how corrupt and incompetent the cops have become. They no longer see themselves as public servants held accountable to their communities. Instead, they want to be the local shock troopers who enforce ridiculous laws and have no problem hauling in whatever citizen they can find a reason to put their paws on.

  121. Ryan Mouk says:

    Poor guy, getting ticketed for doing a better job then the useless police force that was supposed to be doing the job. Glad to see that citizens are held in such high respects by law officials.

  122. rational says:

    We know why the man was stopped: he was not in the Policeman’s Union.

  123. Jacqueline West says:

    The man was was a scab and we can’t have that.
    You can’r protect and serve, that is our job.

    Police union thug.

  124. ENR says:

    It’s unfortunate, but I can understand why the police issued a citation to this thoughtful citizen. With so many folks in this country being lawsuit happy, I can just imagine what may have happened if an accident had occurred near the intersection. Someone would have sued the city for allowing an unauthorized citizen to direct traffic.

    1. Rick G says:

      Wrong. If they are worried about a lawsuit, they just tell him to stop.

      Issuing a ticket is punative.

      We are a nation that is overrun by idiots, and apparently the South Pasadena police department is Exhibit A

    2. Alan E repsonds says:

      Witnesses to carmageddon prior to my arrival reported they saw several near accidents as motorists were unsure how to properly proceed through the uncontrolled intersection. Fortunately, or perhaps due to my skills and abilities in directing traffic at this “complex intersection,” there were no accidents or near accidents, but just more smoothly flowing traffic in all directions. It is my understanding that an accident did occur later that day, during the evening rush hour, when the intersection was still uncontrolled and still lacking the presence of a traffic control officer. Now that is a potential liability to the city and PD.and as much as I love my fair city, I hope those involved in the afternoon accident do sue the city for damages.

      1. Why Not? says:

        @Alan E. Job well done. I may not have read all the posts here, but one point I haven’t seen relates to traffic jams and the effect they can have on emergency vehicle response times. Several years ago in a different city I experienced similar frustration at a notorious intersection whose light failed routinely. The last straw was watching a city FD ambulance take about ten minutes to go three blocks (Code 3) and only clearing the intersection via a shopping center parking lot. I should have done what you did (though I was two blocks from the intersection); instead, I wrote a blistering albeit rational letter to the mayor, city council members, chief of police, and press. My letter may or may not have influenced the PD’s subsequent hiring of a special traffic-control unit consisting of pairs of trained PD employees in day-glo vests mounted on highly maneuverable motorcycles that get through traffic in a hurry and take control of these moribund intersections. There is no reason this can’t happen elsewhere; until then, good on the folks like you who step up to the plate when the situation calls for it.

      2. emileelee says:

        I was in San Diego during the recent power outage and you are right — an uncontrolled intersection results in mass confusion. People seemed like they were trying to be patient and civil, but when you have several lanes going, and left turns against traffic in most of them, no one knows who got there first, and let’s just say the concept of going after the lane to the right of you (or whatever it was) that we learned 30 years ago and forgot about went out the window pretty fast.

        Good lukc at your city council meeting and with your ticket.

  125. Blue says:

    Cite the law he was breaking, please.

    You’re not going to find one.

  126. jw5745 says:

    This is what happens to cops when they aren’t allowed to do anything about real crime…

  127. Andy says:

    Sounds like this Mr. Ehrlich’s real problem was that he was acting a little TOO WHITE? That’s what we call it back home when someone actually does something for the public good and gets slapped on the wrist for it by the powers that be. AMERICA IS IN THE FINAL STAGES OF LIFE SUPPORT… WE ARE BANKRUPT MORALLY AND ECONOMICALLY AND ALL OUR LEADERS CAN DO IS “SLAP” THE CITIZENRY AROUND NOW! WE ARE HEADED TOWARDS REVOLUTION!!!

  128. Steve Turi says:

    He should have given a ticket to the police for failure to do their duty. This is another example of government gone mad. I wonder how many police officers were sitting on their nether regions eating donuts in the area—afraid to get their feet wet. Chalk this up as another example of stupidity, like the ticketing of the little girl for her lemonade stand.

  129. Innocent Bystander says:

    you sir… are an idiot.

  130. j Stuart says:

    The Oinkers don’t like non Union workers. This is crazy.

  131. Bladerunner says:

    The police are really good at their job, giving out tickets. They have no infrastructure if anarchy and riots start, which should be their real job.

  132. THE TRUTH says:

    What a pathetic f$%##g Police Chief and Department

  133. Rex says:

    I’d put that ticket in the circular file.

  134. mediaspork says:

    “not trained in traffic direction”?

    I’m sorry, but whenever I’ve seen cops out directing traffic, it always seems to be much worse than it should otherwise be. Plus, constructions crews regularly have non-police personnedirectingng one-way traffic, and guys always jump out of a truck and stop traffic so that they can get in. This is all about busting scabs. They don’t want to see that regular citizens can do their jobs better than the brass-and-blue unions.

  135. mbs says:

    People are being taught to sit and wait for government to save them from every little thing. Soon, the citizens of this country will have all the initiative and ingenuity forced out of them, as they sit quietly waiting for someone to tell them what to do.

  136. Craig S says:

    The stupidity of the police never ceases to amaze me.. I hope he can get a trial by jury. Can’t imagine him being found guilty.

  137. Mike says:

    Take that ticket, and tell the cops and city hall to shove it up their ass. God forbid A govt. agency actually does its job. I applaud the guy who took matters into his own hands and got the job done. Everyone in that area should go to bat for that guy, show up at city hall and demand that all charges be dismissed. Hell, they should give him a freakin “Good Samaritan” award for doing what the police couldn’t/wouldn’t do.

  138. Morris says:

    “Mr. Ehrlich is not trained in traffic direction …”

    Sorry, but I have stepped out and directed traffic in a few accident emergencies. It ain’t rocket science…it does require the attitude that you are in charge, make eye contact with the driver you are directing and firmly show them what to do.

    1. 22caliber says:

      But you ain’t paid your union dues.

  139. Joe Mont says:

    Just like the guvment. They can’t do the job so they won’t let the citizens do it either. What a joke.

  140. Jeff says:

    The Pasadena Chief should fired immediately.

  141. William Wolf says:

    ““We have limited resources . . . we need to prioritize them. One of the major intersections out at rush hour in our city should be a priority,” Ehrlich added.”

    Well than be thankful that someone is willing to pitch in and help! Clearly the gentleman knows what he is doing! Be thankful for people being willing to lend a hand. He could have had road-rage and just shot everybody!

  142. Reality says:

    The police didn’t have the man power to direct traffic at that intersection….but did have the man power to go there and ticket the person doing their job.

    Just damn!

  143. Mark Matis says:

    Filthy. Maggot. Pigs. May they rot in hell for what they have done to this country!

  144. speak it plainly says:

    Another example of ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’ gone wrong. Politicians and protesters push to eliminate ‘Merry Christmas’ as a holiday greeting, the ten commandments that are carved into stone on court houses, and ‘Under God’ from our pledge of allegiance. Why does this surprise anyone? My close friend is an undercover officer and he said they are afraid of doing the right thing in dangerous situations because of law suits. Get the bureaucrats and politicians out of the way, restore civility to our society and simplify our lives. The police department that issued this ticket is more afraid of a frivolous lawsuit than a citizen doing the right thing. That is wrong and underscores how broke our system is becoming

  145. W Smithson says:

    So after SF public employees stand by and let a man drown because they didn”t have “safety training,” we have this: SoPas Police Chief can’t handle a major traffic snarl and tickets the Good Man who did.

    Does South Pas Police Chief think everything–EVERYTHING has to be approved by the government? And peolpe wonder why no one came to Kitty Genovese’s aid in the 60’s as she was stabbed repeatedly in NY? Why people don’t want to “get involved?”

    Because people like this police chief haven’t a brain in their “only government can do it” heads. Nice job Chief. Too Bad East berlin ins’t open for jobs anymore.

  146. Mark Hillyard says:

    In Calaveras Cnty the Sheriff uses volunteer deputies to help with irritations like this. Volunteers don’t get involved in arrests and such but they are out there dealing with bothersome things like this. In the mountains people are doing this type of thing all the time. Don’t see why it can’t be done in the city.
    If a tree falls across a road people fire up their chainsaws and “get ‘er done”.

  147. Dislike So Pas says:

    From the Chief

    We are proud of the relatively low crime rate and quick response times. Average response time to any call for service is three minutes or less. The low crime rate is due, in part, to a close partnership that exists between the members of the community and the South Pasadena Police Department. Officers are assigned specific neighborhood beats, and sergeants are responsible for coordinating problem solving strategies in specific areas of the city. The South Pasadena Police Department fully embraces the philosophy of Community Oriented Policing. One of the benefits of providing law enforcement services in a city with a population of 25,000 and 3.4 square miles is that the officers truly get to know the community and be a part of it. I am very impressed with the quality of police work; the intimate knowledge of crime, criminals, and the community; and the commitment that our officers have towards providing the highest caliber of police service. Please feel free to explore our website, contact me or other members of the department, or complete a service survey if you’ve had a recent experience with the South Pasadena Police Department. We’d like to hear from you!

    What a crock,

    Wait til Andy heaars about this Chief Fife.

  148. Btruth says:

    Wow, the typical debt slave, knows no bounds when bowing to authority and cleaning their boots! I understand being nice but never help a corrupt, evil, bought out, contrived, illusion like a government(local or federal it’s all a mafia).
    This is the ussa, no selling lemonade, no selling raw milk, free speech zones, 100 mile NO CONSTITUTION zones,the bill of rights destroyed by the “patriot acts.” We are all guilty until proven innocent and really they don’t care if were innocent or not.
    We are all considered “inventory”, collateral for the debt that the elite bankers created after they gained control of our money supply in 1913.

  149. Paul B. says:

    Sheer stupidity. Some cop needs disciplinary proceedings, to drive some common sense into him.

  150. James Woods says:

    Im sorry to say this then but when/if you see a cop for this area in need of help don’t help him.

    You might end up getting ticketed for it.

    Let em go at it without your help.

    What a country.

  151. Roger Eberelli says:

    Cops & crooks are just opposite sides of the same coin. If they weren’t one, they’d be the other.

  152. smashicus says:

    Wrong call, cops. Thanks for nothing.

  153. Bilbo says:

    So what was the ticket for? You call this reporting? If they give him a ticket it has to be for something.

  154. bilbo says:

    So next time the cops ask for help or a donation, tell them you already gave and refer to the lame ticket.

  155. John McGraw says:

    How stupid can anyone be that is supposed to be for the protection of the public? Why was this “policeman” not out directing traffic instead of giving a ticket to someone doing his job. Police in many places have become worthless tax collectors. They are too lazy to get out and do any real work.

  156. Frank says:

    California courts ruled years ago that if an agency takes responsibility for something like an intersection with no lights, the agency assumes liability for anything that happens there until the problem is fixed IF they take charge and start directing traffic, which, of course, can take hours. State law handles this by putting the burden on motorists to treat such an intersection as a four way stop. One just needs to imagine how fast all a city’s cops are tied up if they have to direct traffic until the power comes back. Would have worked in San Diego thisnweek?

  157. Ted Bell says:

    Call (626) 403-7270 and ask to speak to the Watch Commander and tell him what you think. As citizens we need to get the message across that this type of boorish behavior by the police is unacceptable.

  158. Druig says:

    Sadly, I think the gentleman getting the ticket was in order.

    Per the article, the lights at the intersection had gone out. At this point an individual stepping in to help I applaud.

    However, later in the article…
    ““It was just kind of chaos of cars . . . there were stop signs up. But people were challenging each other to get through the intersection,” said Richard Gerrish who works at an office located at the intersection.”

    Which means the city works had begun to address the situation and there were stop signs in place. At this point it sounds like the gentleman in question was facilitating people failing to stop at a controlled intersection.

  159. Clearhead says:

    Sounds like Joe is a real PAYNE IN THE pASSadena area. He should contact the REAL JOE, (ARPAIO) in Arizona. That way he could find out how to be a REAL police chief.

  160. ji says:

    I know the police were concerned about abuse of power. However, if someone is doing a GOOD thing, why should they be punished? There’s something called the good Samaritan law that is in place and totally applies to this situation. If you’re doing something for the greater good, you shouldn’t be punished unless you neglect or cause damage within your control.

    You have police ticketing people for jumping in and helping others, and people will stop helping each other. What will happen to community then?

    1. Alan E responds says:

      I’m embarrassed to say my 3rd grader is learning civics in school, Just last week they learned 2 new vocabulary words: public virtue – def: noun, doing something for the good of the community. Its saddens me that a 8 yr old 3rd grader knows more about citizen’s rights and responsibilities than public officials with many more years of (in)expereince

      1. emileelee says:

        Maybe you can use that — “public virtue” in your defense. You were following the law, doing your part as a good samaritan.

  161. Anthony Kaye says:

    Just another sympton of that disease spreading across the Western world-bureaucratic arrogance of power. These people are unelected jobsworths who throw their weight around. It’s about time they realised who pays their wages. You never know, one day the worm might turn- although I don’t hold out much hope!
    Bristol U.K.

  162. Black Eagle says:

    Once we were citizens. Now we are “subjects”. Once there were peace officers beholden to the citizenry. Now there are policemen beholden to whomever grabs power at the top. They do the same now with firefighters, who sometimes call the cops on people trying to save their own property from burning. Same with doctors, calling cops to arrest “unapproved” medicines or foods, etc. Bit by bit, our government is taken over by thugs who have only power in mind, and don’t give a rat’s behind about honor, truth, helping the public, or the US Constitution. The only solution to this is a drastic smacking down of the Federal and State budgets. Cut off their funds, force firings of massive numbers of bureaucrats. Arm yourself also, be self-reliant, and don’t submit to bullies — neither criminals nor criminals-in-uniform.

  163. Steve in St. Louis says:

    When there was a tornado on Good Friday here in St. Louis, power lines were down on the interstates and no one could go anywhere. Seems like a similar situation in California.
    They need to be able to respond to an emergency response.

    If they could fire the police and city government in tine involved locality they would be better off without them.
    Appoint Allen Ehrlich Mayor, or maybe better yet, governor of California.
    Maybe he should run for president. We really need someone who can take charge in an emergency and get something done.

    1. Alan E responds says:

      Steve, thanks for the props, but haven’t you heard, CA is not governable, just ask Arnold (last time I vote for an actor/poser)

      btw, what part of STL? I have relatives in the Frontenac and Creve Couer parts. What are Vince Coleman and Ozzie Smith doing these days. Base stealing is a lost art, those guys were exciting to watch.back in the day. Can you Fedex me a burger from Steak and Shake?

  164. Belinda Gomez says:

    Most cops can’t afford to live in SPas so they take it out on the locals.

  165. ron says:

    didnt have to man power to direct traffic but had the man power to issue a ticket … ok

  166. mark says:

    An absolutely typical bureaucratic answer: we can’t/won’t do our job because there are not enough “resources.” They could have written many more tickets if they had the manpower.
    Another Bureaucratic rule sure to follow: never punish people who abuse the public or show terrible judgment; promote ’em!

  167. tomSERVO says:

    Of course they wrote him a ticket. He’s flaunting the idea that an individual can actually handle a solution and is not entirely dependent on his or her government master.

    1. Alan E responds says:

      One of my friends wrote to say, “only you would know how to turn an act of civil service into criminal behavior.”

  168. phil says:

    What law exactly, was Mr. Ehrlich breaking? In many states, “Good Samaritan” (Yes, it’s Biblical…look it up), Laws are on the books that would protect this citizen while attempting what every responsible citizen should do. (aide Law Enforcement) Samaritan Laws are a wonderful protection and are apparently needed in your area.

  169. Rick O'Shea says:

    Fight the ticket.

  170. Dennis D says:

    Only in California. Wacko State

  171. Ricardo says:

    Anyone who chooses to still live in the People’s Republic of California deserves everything they get. And it is only going to get worse, because there is no accountability.; only those who are running the place (very badly, top to bottom), and their willing victims.

    Vote with your feet; move to a free state.

  172. Tom says:

    This man must be ticketed until he learns how to behave like a good sheep. Thinking for one’s self and taking initiative will not be tolerated!

    1. Alan E REsponds says:

      I’m changing my name to Guy Montag, the main character in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451- A third-generation fireman who suddenly realizes the emptiness of his life and starts to search for meaning in the books he is supposed to be burning. Though he is sometimes rash and has a hard time thinking for himself, he is determined to break free from the oppression of ignorance

  173. TomA says:

    Just in case anyone has forgotten who is in charge.

  174. Jeff Campbell says:

    Oh brother, the supposed love your brother, free for all, tune out, drop out state of California has turned into a sissy Nanny state.

    Sure glas I’ll never live there.

  175. Nativam says:

    He shouldn’t have said, “it’s a small price to pay”. Now, if he gets a liberal judge, the swine will hit him with the maximum fine.

  176. Ceefour says:

    It sounds to me like joe payne is a DROID pretending to be a chief of police.

  177. Vic says:

    They had enought cops to issue tickects, I saw it happen when a pick-up didn’t come a complete stop

  178. Pockets64 says:

    What was the law he was breaking? He wasn’t impersonating a police officer.

  179. Maj. Hochstetter says:

    Its just disgusting. Well, you can write your little ticket, but if I see a situation to help, Im gonna help. Stinkin’ cops!

  180. Matt Logan says:

    Leave a message for the mayor of South Pasadena here.

    (626) 403- 7218

  181. Jubal says:

    Riverside, CA: If you call in a ‘shots fired’ report, expect the LEOs to show up in about 20 minutes. If you need an officer immediately, honestly, have the phone number of the nearest donut shop posted with your emergency numbers. The one time that I really needed a cop ASAP, I called Mr. Chou at his donut shop and asked to speak with the cops there. They were at my residence in 1 minute flat. No lie.

  182. Miss Kitty says:

    When Marshall Dillon was away I often had to take up the shotgun. Let me tell you no one gave me any guff about it either.

  183. dan says:

    The city should train citizens to do traffic directing and certify those who pass it. Give this good samaritan the opportunity to get certified then drop the charges.

    1. R. Kantor says:

      Take the c.e.r.t training the pd might even teach traffic control,as did the Palmdale sheriffs station.

  184. Darrell Nelson says:

    9/11 is tomorrow…if you see something unusual…dont call pasadena police dept.

  185. Darrell Nelson says:

    what was the ticket for ? obstructing traffic.?

    1. Alan E responds says:


      I answered this earlier, but there are a lot of posts and I thank everyone who has read this story and commented.

      The ticket is for violating CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 21956(a) Pedestrian on Roadway, which I think is similar to a jaywalking ticket.

      for pictures of the traffic snarl, go to

      1. Paul Anderson says:

        CVC 21956 (a) No pedestrian may walk upon any roadway . . . .
        CVC 21957. No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of
        soliciting a ride from the driver of any vehicle.

        The Legislature, in 21957, prohibits standing for the purpose of soliciting a ride…
        The Legislature, in using 21956(a) and 21957, shows that they know the difference of standing and walking.

        You were standing, not walking. You did not violate 21956(a).

  186. Cleary says:

    this guy should be celebrated as a hero rather than fined. And the cops who ticketed and justified ticketing him should be taken out and shot – with a brain building medication. Obviously these cops are Democrats and/or liberals and/or union thugs.

    1. Alan E responds says:

      I didn’t do this to be celebrated or to become infamous. I saw a problem that nobody else was doing anything about and said, “This is absurd and a potentially dangerous problem (referring to the cars using residential streets to get around the jam on routes that kids were using to get to elementary and middle school), I can do something about this.”. That’s just the type of person I am.

  187. STAN says:

    South Pasadena has a long history of police malpractice. The Chief needs to learn he is to serve the people , not the people serving the public employees. FIRE THE CHIEF !

  188. Richard Vogt says:

    Government is the problem

    Give us more liberty not more government !!

  189. Paula S/ says:

    Really South Pasadena? Sorry I don’t believe for one minute they were worried about this guy getting hit and suing them. Are the taxpayers of South Pasadena going to accept a Police Chief who says he did not have the man power needed and that is safer to allow traffic to back up? Sounds like a typically union ploy and I’m betting there are plenty of unemployed people ca[able od directing traffic who would be happy for a job,

  190. Johnny says:

    This is total BS… He took action in a situation where he could help. He might have prevented an unnecessary accident or injury. I have responded to two separate collision incidents in my life where my help as a citizen was greatly appreciated. One of which could have been prevented if traffic was being controlled. Not to lessen the response time of the local PD and FD at the time in that particular incident. Which was quite rapid and efficient.
    Are we now to be afraid of a a system of law that deems us unworthy to take part in it or uphold it? Or to shy away serving our fellow human beings without expectation of pay or guarded respect that it seems some of our law enforcement demands?

  191. Gary Chambers says:

    I love guys like you. How did we ever survive? Our parents and their parents would laugh at folks like you today. You’re action paralyzed and are the type that would satnd around, say someone oughta do something, then cheer when Mr. Ehrlich is ticketed.
    I bet if you were in a wagon train headed west and it came under attack, you’d cower with the women and kids while waiting for a cavalry that never comes.


  192. kcsparky says:

    LAPD can’t stop a slow, white Bronco, but can ticket someone trying hard to help. Pathetic!

  193. JudgeMental says:

    You can find “officious” in Webster’s between “arrogance” and “political corectness”.

  194. tymwltl says:

    Don’t threaten my authority.

  195. wGraves says:

    One more reason to fire the Police Chief.

    1. Klaus says:

      I second that. Fire the police chief immediately. With no pension or benefits. We’re in a financial crisis, and the police department is a complete waste of taxpayer money. What do they do except hand out nuisance tickets and harass taxpayers? Second Amendment for all except police.

    2. Barney Fife for COP says:

      Klaus clearly has his head up and locked. Fire this lame Chief and they will get one just as worthless. Besides Chief Payne has already been there over 34 years. Not as Chief but he started as a Cadet and has never really done police work other than in this small backward community. Any major crime or fire in the City always gets handled buy some outside agency.

  196. Joe says:

    South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne is a fricken MORON…..the pepole of south Pasadena need to rise up and see to it that his useless a$$ gets fired……………

  197. Slim Witman says:

    Being a traffic cop and ticketing people on their way to work, or this guy that clearly knows how to think on his feet is comparable to pumping septic tanks. Both jobs stink, except one of them actually provides a service.

  198. hello says:

    I directed traffic for over 2 hours on 2nd avenue and 72nd here in Manhattan after the light went out. I witnessed a near miss and decided to step in.

    4 cops passed and 3 calls to 311 and 911 and no one would help. Finally 2 hours latter two officers stepped in after the group of onlookers who were watching me pleaded with them. The corner pizza shop even came out and gave me a flashlight. I have never gotten so many thank yous from cab drivers and truck drivers,

    In that time 3 ambulances came through the intersection. If the intersection was locked by cars, no way they could have gotten through

  199. ananymous says:

    Google Earth Fair Oaks Ave. and Huntington Dr. 91030 and tell me this wasn’t a publicity stunt!!!!

    1. Alan E responds says:

      Anon, not sure if you are referring to me or some larger Oliver Stone like city/PD conspiracy theory. But trust me, you can’t manufacture or make this type of stuff up Stupid is as stupid does.

  200. Flordia Mom says:

    I e-mailed the South Pasadena City Council, South Pasadena Police Department and the South Pasadena City Manager’s Office regarding this ridiculous incident. You can find their contact information at

  201. harkin says:

    I stopped once for a bad accident, helped a man perform cpr on an injured woman and had her die in my arms…..I felt her pulse stop. I went back to my car and stood there collecting myself. A cop walked over to me and said “get your ass back in your car and leave immediately or I’m going to write you up”.

  202. Grundoon says:

    Get a clue folks. Break the unions and these kind of problems go away–everywhere!. Unions are like aspirin. Two every four hours can cure a lot of labor headaches but an overdose–like we have today in our schools and our governments and the US auto industry will slowly make the patient bleed to death. Get rid of Obama, the Democrats, vote in right to work in all states and you will get rid of these kind of stupid problems and start to get jobs back in the US.

  203. a guy i know says:

    If you don’t allow traffic to back up how can you convice the citizens, from whom your authority is derived supposedly, to fork out more tax dollars to fix somthing in order to pad the general budget?

    We are either governed by the rule of law or the whim of dictatorships. If by the rule of law then any citizen can step in to help anywhere, anytime. If by the whim of dictators, then delegated authority and preservation of the ruling class becomes more important than the public good.

    This is just one more piece of evidence that we have abdicated our authority by refusing to be governed by the rule of law in favor of the velvet hammer that promises to serve and protect.

    1. dru says:

      can we say Jury Nullification i knew you could 🙂

  204. A Tea Party Conservative says:

    Their email is

    I pray for my frist responders, but I loathe my government

    1. Alan E responds says:

      I’ve been trying to figure out if my actions on Thursday qualify me to become either a tea party’r or member of the Minutemen.

  205. brodave says:

    I presume that the South Pasadena police officers are union.

    Walks like one, quacks like one, etc…

  206. Jim says:

    All levels of government just seem to be getting more stupid by the hour! PRIVATIZE THE GOVERNMENT and let these idoits get a real job. DON’T TREAD ON US!

  207. emileelee says:

    It seems to me that the government wants to SUPPRESS a sense of community. Heaven forbid citizens see a problem and step in to help fix it. Why, if we all think for ourselves and help out our fellow citizens when we can, we won’t be so dependant on our overpriced, underperforming government.

    This reminds me of the stories I’ve read about people getting fined for feeding the homelss without the right city permits (I guess it’s safer for the homeless to eat from garbage cans).

    If the police didn’t have time to direct traffic with the light out and this guy was improving the situation, why did they make time to go fine him?

    1. Alan E responds says:

      Congratulations, you identified the real problem. It’s all those citizens we are supposed to serve and their annoying requests for service. It it wasn’t for all those darn taxpaying citizens, this might be a decent town to live & work in.

  208. kentex1146 says:

    How would I feel if I woke up tomorrow morning and learned that Las Vegas has a beach?


  209. Jimbo Limbo says:

    This is like something straight out of Animal Farm!

  210. Vote Loud says:


    They knowz best for youse and me! tHEYZ GRATUATERED FROM THE 5TH GRADES!!!

    Fire the barrssttarrdds!!!

  211. Gerard Van der Leun says:

    South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne is hereby invited to pound all the sand on the beaches of Los Angeles up his commodious orifice. What a schmoo.

  212. Temeculan says:

    Something similar happens in Temecula (south of Los Angeles) all the time. When there is an accident at an intersection the police cars are everywhere but not single policeman will try to direct traffic. Meanwhile the traffic backs up on the exit ramps and freeway for miles.

  213. DigitalTexan says:

    When did police become superhuman gods? WE can decide to police ourselves or WE can decide to hire employees to do it for us. At what point did the police become the all knowing authority and the only people that are allowed to do anything other than obey the police. This, like our federal overlords in Washington DC, have it all upside down.

  214. Jive Dadson says:

    To heck with paying off the cops. Pay for his legal defense!

  215. greeneyes says:

    He should fight it in court. He didn’t do anything wrong by trying to help out. Shame on the officer for ticketing him and then not directing traffic. Go back to Donut King you dufus cop!

  216. Mike Alright says:

    Ah, the feminized lawyer driven nanny-state America. The home of the slaves. It is too late for America to wake up. Freedom is gone. Don’t you “feel” good about that? Id10ts!

  217. Jim says:

    I did the same thing myself on more than one occasion in Washington, D.C. back in the 1980’s. I am sure that not one police officer in this country would have even considered writing a ticket over something like this back then. We have come a long way in this country since then, the wrong way, however.

  218. Tanstaafl2 says:

    Demand a jury trial – they’ll never convict!

  219. Phillydude says:

    Let me get this straight. They did not have the manpower to direct traffic, but did have the man power to go out there and ticket him for doing their job? LMAO! Has the whole state of California lost its mind?

    No good deed goes unpunished indeed. I think the cop that was enough of an ahole to write him this ticket should be tried, suspended and publicly flogged. Last state I woudl EVER move to or visit

  220. Chuck Moseley says:

    That’s your unions, hard at work

  221. Chuck Moseley says:

    WAKE UP CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  222. Osamas Pajamas says:

    Well, you know. We choose our legislators, regulators, enforcers, and adjudicators from among the brain-dead.

  223. Mac says:

    I have been watching and listening all day to stories of 9/11 and the days and weeks after. Ordinary people stepped up and did extrodinary things. They helped the police, they helped the fire department, they helped the port authority and they helped other people who needed help and they are heros. What the hell is wrong with the idion police in South Pasadena ??? No onder california is such a mess.

  224. pyeatte says:

    This is beyond stupid for the police. Our overlords better get their act together or things could get ugly.

  225. vinko says:

    they’ll be ticketing neighborhood watch dogs next

  226. doc says:

    We live in a police State and cops generally are egotists and thugs. In my city they have arrested 5 year old kindergarten students for acting-out. Put them in hand-cuffs and taken them away in Squad-cars. There’s no telling what the “right” cop might do. He has a badge and gun and the authority to use them. That’s a dangerous combination. We need to go back to the days when they had a stick and a whistle and walked the streets in the neighborhoods instead of riding around in air-conditioned new cars all day. There was a lot less crime then, than now, and we didn’t have to worry about being run down during some stupid car chase or shot.

  227. CallMeIshmael says:

    I’m just wondering if there’s a judge in South Pasadena who’s as crazy as that police officer? Now I know why they call it LaLa Land.

  228. James says:

    You’re assuming that the people in charge, and the unions, want help and have interest in solving problems effectively. They don’t. They want to maintain power and control and to reward constituencies like unions and keep competition out, even volunteer competition.

    The fundamental mistake people who believe in expanding the power of government make is in believing the people in charge will have their interests at heart. They won’t.

  229. James says:

    Demoted? He should be tarred and feathered–oh yeah, and fired.

  230. Tim says:

    Aren’t there some peeps in S California who want to secede from Northern California? Because we are all for it up North!!

  231. rally2xs says:

    There is only one law, from which all others arederived. Itis, “Don’tdo anything unusual.”

  232. Ken Austin says:

    It’s no wonder police don’t respect the police. There is nothing there to respect. It’s “we’re not going to do the job that the citizens hired us to do but by damn, no one else is going to either!”

  233. kickk says:

    Why couldn’t the cops have given him a warning instead of a ticket??????

  234. D Lars says:

    I would like to know what section of ‘law’ was this man in violation of? I would love to be a fly on the wall of that court room when he brings this case in front of the judge…..He should cross examine the officer…..Oh how I would love to be there.

  235. raffaro says:

    And police officers wonder why so many ordinary every day folks dont trust them, could it be that every day man knows that the police are’nt here for thier protection but for the protection of the elites.

  236. John Gile says:

    It seems to me the highest priority of the city council should be to get rid of the dumb ass police chief.

  237. David Heath says:

    America’s problem in a nutshell- initiative and intelligence are punished whilst the citizens are forced to wait for real leadership to show up. Thank God I live in Germany, a country that knows all too well the dangers inherit in a state where the police overstep their mandate to trample on the happiness, well-being and livelihood of the common man. The state looks after its people whilst allowing them to live as they see fit without undue interference. The US however seems more and more to be following a fascist route; as its influence diminishes around the world, it seeks to enforce its dominance upon its own people. There doesn’t appear to be any hope given the general decline in its education system and completely ignorant, unqualified people who run for office and are given headlines due to notoriety rather than experience and ability. What a dystopia the US has become, and we in Europe, grateful for the US of three generations ago, can only shake our heads and bemoan the loss of a former model and friend.

  238. Anonymous says:

    Please America, Wake UP!!! We live in a police state and the government has run amok. Please read about how Hitler came into power and what the Germans went through. We are there and it’s getting worse. Stand up and wake up.

  239. John Fox says:

    Sure .. until you get hit by a car or cause even more problems. Lucky for you that it works out, but amateurs directing traffic can cause more problems than they solve. Sure, you got cars through faster. Today. Tomorrow you may not be as lucky. All it takes is one driver misunderstanding what you are signaling, or to rightfully ignore you and stop since the LAW REQUIRES traffic to treat non-working traffic lights as a four way stop. The police officer could just as easily given tickets to everyone who did not come to a full and complete stop at the intersection. And it would have been YOUR fault.

    My wife got hit once because some truck driver took it upon himself to direct a lady to pull out of a shopping center, she then hit my wife who was coming around the truck.

    If there’s a crash, put out flares (you do have them in your car .. right???) and get your buttocks off the road and to safety.

    1. Robert Brooks says:

      It’s your type, who look to and worship “authority” that are ruining a great country. I bet your wife is an idiot. I can prove that in that fact that she married you. You follow rules blindly, never questioning from whence they came. Have fun being a sheep. I bet you voted for obama too, because that’s what tv told you to do.

    2. MrSpock says:

      So by this reasoning if I come upon a serious traffic accident I should not attmept any first aid regardless of my training even if it might save a life because I am not currently employed as a EMT or police officer. If I don’t have that piece of paper certifying me I should just let them die.

      Ditto if a person was thrown from a car into traffic and attempting to slowly crawl to safety. Let’s not go and help them get to safety after all let’s leave this to the professionals.

      This is a perfect example of only the government can take care of us mentality. It is one of the reasons your state is in the shape it is in.

      Here in Colorado we have a little more common sense. The police and others actually appreciate it when we try to help prior to them arriving on site. Our local sheriff has even said during a situation where they are short handed they would have no problem with volunteers manning roadblocks and assisting them in other areas if needed.

      Of course that requires an attitude of working together and not having a union mentality.

      1. JC says:

        Rather logical, Mr. Spock!

    3. Steve Ball says:

      I’ve been a CA driver for 45 years, and have directed traffic in emergency (usually accident) situations maybe 5 times. First, if you are of even average intelligence and paying attention, it isn’t that difficult. Second, (but I may be wrong about this) I believe that CA law requires that you obey the person directing traffic (who has precedent even over WORKING traffic lights, much less non-working ones.) Third, you see people directing traffic all the time – the crossing guards in school zones. Their presence “trumps” signals, working or non-working.

      I agree: Mr. Fox sounds like an authority-worshiping (I’d use another term, but this is a rated-G site) Tool.

  240. Jasonn says:

    How about appointing Mr. Erlicho as Chief of PO-lice in Pasadena so he can square that chicken outfit away, starting with that moron who issued him a citation for helping out?

  241. paul mason says:

    The Federal and State governments have become the Enemy of the People.

    What a disgrace, that our once fine Democracy has come to this.

  242. Alan E says:

    Tony, I don’t know you nor you me, so how do you know whether I have or have not had training in traffic control or emergency response? FWIW, neither the officers, nor later Chief Payne, ever inquired as to whether I was trained or qualified. If you are a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. I guess if you are a So Pas Police Officer, every ‘problem’ looks like a citation waiting to be written. The failed signal light is a situation that the City and Police department were aware of and should have been better prepared to respond to. Earlier in 2011, when the exact same signal failed and the exact same traffic carmageddon occurred, I went in front of the City Council and asked them to address the problem so there would be a more effective plan than ‘letting traffic back-up.’ As readers are now aware, the elected leaders and department managers at best came up with a bad solution and IMHO failed miserably in their responsibility to serve the public.

  243. gene somers says:

    the real problem is the signals. Fix em so they dont go out all the time. The signals work in thousands of installations elsewhere. Lets concentrate on the problem . You dont need more officers, just fix the signals.

  244. Alan E says:

    Actually, SPPD sent two officers, in separate patrol units, to ‘investigate’ and issue the citation. I’m caucasion, about 5’10 & 200 lbs, hardly the threatening looking type. For readers unfamiliar with So Pas, we are a small city of about 25,000, about 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. We are fortunate not to have a gang problem in our city and violent crime is a rarity. While I would be first to agree that cops in general have tough and demanding jobs, no one would compare or confuse So Pas with Chicago Southside,, NYC Bed/Stuy or the Bronx, or LA’s Newton, Rampart or Hollenbeck divisions.

    While the two officers were keeping themselves busy dealing with this miscreant, traffic that I had cleared to zero began piling back up at the intersection to between 15-20 cars per lane. When I inquired if either of them was going to take over, or at least call their dispatcher to assign a traffic control officer, was when I was informed “it was not their responsibility.” If not yours , then whose responsibility is it?

    1. nobama nomore says:

      If I read this correctly, Alan, you were the person cited? I commend you for what you did and your eagernes to help out but on the other hand, I also see the PD point of view. However, issuing a ticket is at the discretion of the officer so I don’t know if he took it upon himself, which is a bone head move, or if he had a boss pushing his buttons. In either case, the best thing is to plead not guilty and to notify the local press when your court date is. Good luck and keep up the good work.

    2. Alan E responds says:

      Yes Nobama, This is the Alan who received the ticket. I am not a lawyer and it is not for me to say whether my actions were legal or not, obviously I do not think they were. One would hop that after further consideration and review of the feedback and comments that many bloggers have indicated they have sent to City officials, someone would have sense enough to say “maybe we acted a bit too hastily, we don’t need this type of publicity, make it go away” Unfortunately, as the saying goes, there is no ‘common’ in common sense.

  245. Steven says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhh I get it now! They fined the guy so they would have money to pay an officer to direct traffic the next time the light goes out. Geez, the police sure are brilliant! Stupid cops…..

  246. Jimbo Wales says:

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAH LIBERAL UTOPIA! You morons get what you deserve.

  247. Alan E says:

    I may be contacted at While I appreciate the many offers to pay the citation, no one has yet heard me complain or object about receiving this ticket. Yes I think it was poor judgement on the part of the officer and think that the overall incident, including my role, could have been handled differently, but if the net result of my actions is that if forces our elected city leaders and department managers to come up with a better and more effective traffic management solution than just letting the cars back up into the neighboring city and spill onto residential streets while children are walking to school, than I consider the cost of the fine to be nominal compared to the benefit that will be achieved.

    1. Margaret D says:

      You are charitable, but the issue goes beyond this incident. It’s about the national character.

      Should Americans be forced to learn passivity is the question. Are Americans confident, practical problem solvers, or sheep needing a rod and staff for the simplest matters? Are we actors in our own community life, or merely subjects of the state?

      I consider your fine too high a price to pay for exercising adult behavior for the common good.

    2. Ben H says:

      I hope take the ticket to court and let a judge decide if you should pay. There either needs to be checks and balances or the whole city department needs to take responsibility for this moronic action on the part of the police. On the bright side, you didn’t get tazed.

    3. fred says:

      You said it, MargaretD!

    4. Bob Dobbs says:

      Fight the ticket, Alan. What the cops are trying to do is claim the exclusive right to perform certain public services, yet they don’t follow through with their end of the bargain. If they had the resources to ticket you then they had the resources to get the job done themselves. Make them go on the record stating WHY they want the traffic in the area to be snarled, so much so that they will actively interfere with resolutions to the problem.

      Paying the ticket just helps to fund more outrageous actions by the police against innocent citizens. Don’t pay it! Don’t let them profit from persecuting you!

    5. VanGogh says:

      Thank you Alan, and thank you MargaretD! Your analysis is spot on, Margaret! I wish more citizens understood the issue as you put it so succinctly.

  248. Alan E says:

    Officer P/T,

    Good idea, but it would never work. It makes too much sense. “There is nothing ‘common’ about common sense”

    “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty” – Thomas Jefferson

  249. Francis Chalk says:

    I used to be a big police supporter, but in light of the countless examples of police incompetence, stupidity and gross over reaction, I now feel the cops are mostly fools–dangerous fools.

  250. commonsense247 says:

    Power and bureaucracy getting in the way of a government being effective and beneficial to its citizenry. Throw them out and start fresh.

  251. Kevin C says:

    Arbitrary application of power by idiotic bureaucrats makes the public distrust and dislike police officers. They are supposed to “Protect and Serve” not ignore and insult. Power has corrupted many policemen into thinking they are here to control people. That is not the case. While this should get thrown out of court it will likely end up with this good samaritan paying a fine.

    This man’s actions very likely averted an accident. Someone could have been injured or killed. He certainly deserved better than a ticket.

  252. Doctor J says:

    The South Pasadena police chief needs to be removed from office and replaced with someone who is competent, as soon as possible…

  253. marg1 says:

    I don’t usually quote the president, but I’ll paraphrase here: The South Pasadena police acted “stupidly.”

    As ridiculous as the police officer was in issuing a ticket, the Chief of Police, Joe Payne was even more stupid. It is “safer to allow traffic to block up.” Ha ha ha. What an arrogant jerk.

    I’m willing to bet that the police officer and Joe Payne are both Democrats. “We’re from the government–only we are smart enough to do things correctly.”

  254. Dave says:

    Police have arrest powers which are not absolute. They also do not have an absolute monopoly on civil responsibly or emergency relief.

  255. Bob Nelson says:

    TV has made “traffic cop” beneath their dignity. Fire them all from the top down and replace them!.

  256. Gayle says:

    My spouse is police officer and I just asked him what he would have done in that situation. He said he would have told him “Good job.”.

  257. Tyler says:

    LMAO! This is another reason why California sucks. It figures! He probably got a ticket because he wasn’t in a union or an ilegal. In that case he would have been allowed to stand there and do whatever he wanted.

    California = FAILED STATE

  258. jpenrod says:

    The Government is in CHARGE from local to federal….We The People are allowed to work and pay tribute, other than that we are to sit down and shut up, can’t you little pea brains get it? If the government wants you sitting in traffic burning gas, getting frustrated they have their reasons, do not question…or be prepared to PAY

  259. RalphVSmith says:

    The police are most interested in protecting their power and authority. By having a citizen step up and do their job they are being challenge and they must meet that challenge at all costs.

    Suggested reading: Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg

  260. Amwiser says:

    So..exactly which “law” did Alan break? Where does it say on the local that in doing so you are not following the rule of law?

  261. GDog Slim says:

    F the POLICE, Maggots

  262. comibama says:

    It not my yob, I yust work here….

  263. JohnDave says:

    Glad to see this in print. The cops were obviously inept and trouble makers.
    This guy should be rewarded not ‘ticketed’.

  264. Bo Alabama says:

    “South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne said he did not have the man power needed to staff officers”

    But he did have enough staff to issue this good citizen a ticket. I’d fire the Police Chief – that would allow the city to hire more officers like the good citizen.

  265. Corky Boyd says:

    I am sure if Police Chief Payne had checked a few donut shops, he could have scrounged up a cop or two.The real sin here is Ehrlich was doing union work without a card.

  266. riker says:

    A classic fable for the liberal utopia that Californian’s have built.

    Discourage , and in some cases punish citizenship and volunteerism.

    Place your faith in government…create dependency…..repeat the cycle

  267. pcbob says:

    Send the city a bill for your services. As citizens we can make a citizen’s arrest for send a ticket to all the police officers that failed to show up to resolve the light being out. We the citizens pay taxes for the police, yet they still want to get all the money from us for any little infraction that might save them from doing their job.

  268. JWC says:

    I’d request a trial by jury and hope for some jurors with common sense.

  269. Bob A says:

    Allen E. You need to run for a higher office in your town. Apparently, your dedication and forward thinking is what SP needs. Good Luck.

  270. Jimmy Smith says:

    They have crossing guards at schools (I read it on their web-page) – maybe they could train him to be a crossing guard so he could step in and do the police jobs when necessary. They are having an open house at the police and fire departments next weekend – maybe lots of folks should show up there with the orange vest carrying signaling flags as a show of solidarity.

  271. Hrmmm says:

    This is OUTRAGEOUS! Big Gov=BIG Trouble

  272. Hrmmm says:

    This is OUTRAGEOUS!! BIG Gov=BIG Trouble

  273. ray fournier says:

    Erhlich – you have a good case to bring a civil suit against the City for violation of the 1st amendment; freedom of speech and expression. Settle out on the stupid ticket then sue them to get their attention. We in law enforcement and public service MUST adhere to the Constitution. I say “we” because I have been a federal agent for over 25 years and I’m offended by what happened with this stupid ticket. We are a nation where the government serves the people; not the other way around and it is way past time we the people made that clear. Good luck.

  274. Tom Hawking says:

    To protect and serve seems to mean pay us or else. Regain our ability to fire the corrupt and lazy, disband public unions for the greater good.

  275. Georgie Patton says:

    To Alan E., I have done the same, getting soaked to the bone in order to move traffic snarled when power went out.

    Your Tammany Hall type Police Chief needs to be replaced by some one who cares more for the public; some one like you.

    Run, Alan E., Run!

  276. SokNoo Ramos says:

    Amazing, cops are just so stupid it never ceases to amaze me. Im sure they were all too busy at the local donut shop to care.

  277. desert dweller says:

    Pasadena needs a new police chief! safer to let them back up? what a freaking flake…been there done that…keep the traffic moving….THATS SAFER! Give that guy a letter of commendation and stick that ticket up the chiefs butt!!

  278. spoutinghorn says:

    This guy is guilty of showing initiative, imagination and timeliness all without being micromanaged by a an overpaid unionized bureaucrat. It’s obviously something our government cannot tolerate.

  279. Felix says:

    Radio Free Northwest has the information.

  280. Rafer Hoxworth says:

    This guy is guilty of showing initiative, imagination and timeliness all without being micromanaged by a an overpaid unionized bureaucrat. It’s obviously something our government cannot tolerate.

  281. SerfCityHereWeCome says:

    Way to go, Marxifornia, you almost achieved NY-level idiocy. Don’t forget to sue the good samaritan for preventing a hail of road-rage-fueled gunfire and dozens of deaths and taking a few hundred million out of the mouths of some bottom-feeding ambulance chasers. I guess the police union must’ve been too busy ignoring illegals or driving them to the ER or school.

  282. J. Phelps says:

    He should demand a trial by jury.

  283. kevster says:

    he needs to be assigned to the ” go for the doughnuts squad”……….

  284. NowSwimBack says:

    We don’t need police. That’s why we have a Second Amendment. Police only exist to protect criminals – politicians included. If someone breaks into your house or tries to rob you and you shoot/kill him, they will prosecute you. If the citizens get angry enough at the political establishment and decide it’s time to march against them, or even physically throw them out of office, guess who comes out to stop the citizens? The police, of course.

  285. ditchdigger says:

    You must banish your sense of leadership and repsonsibility and return to the line of sheep around you. Such instances of personal respobsibility and individuality are dangerous. Only those working on behalf of the government are able to make decisions about who should turn and who should go straight- next thing you know people will want to own their own firearms and not syubmit to questionable searches- get back in line with the other sheep…er citizens-

  286. Bill says:

    I live in Indiana.
    I was once threatened with arrest for asking a police officer if I could help him.
    It’s not worth getting an arrest record for helping someone with a dominating ego.
    I’ll help any citizen, but a cop, NEVER!

  287. David Parsons says:

    Why doesn’t the So Pac police chief cancel the ticket? SImple. The officers who issued the ticket did nothing terribly wrong, Alan E did nothing wrong, and then the police wouldn’t look like spiteful children with badges.

  288. Pilot>Dave says:

    Remember Beverly Hills Cops (the movie) ?? CA cops are directed by their management to be politically correct above all else.

    Hopefully the Judge will be new and worried about being re-elected. An Old dude is already intoxicated by the fact that Justice is no longer impartial in our country as the Judge IS GOD in their courtroom. The court of appeals 95% of the time does not read the high priced appeals they get, and simply rubber stamp the Judge’s “opinion” – thus these “opinions” are not published as Chaos would result from the conflicting “case law”.

  289. Jeff McGraw says:

    Good job morons, ticket a person that is assisting you in a non-obstructive way. So you didn’t have the manpower to direct traffic, but did have the manpower to respond to this situation and issue a ticket. Any wonder why people’s opinion of some police officers is lacking and people, in general, are unwilling to assist. Great example to set …. admit the ticket was wrong and move forward!

  290. WingedVictory says:

    The lack of common sense by law enforcement is never ending.

  291. billybob36 says:

    I used to work a lot with police in the 1980’s and they seemed to have a good sense of balance between respecting the people in their community and enforcing laws. Today, they beat people to death, use overkill to block streets and freeways for police investigations, chase and arrest people who are on their own property video taping them when they are making an arrest using heavy handed force, and generally have a bad attitude.

    I was in NYC for two major blackouts about 30 and 40 years ago… the traffic lights were out and citizens immediately took to the streets with flashlights to keep people from running into each other… The citizen response was later praised by mayors of the city in both instances.

    It seems that South Pasadena needs a new Chief of Police. This attitude usually comes from the top down and is reflected in the last line in the news story where the reaction from the police department is that they have no plans to change their close minded attitude and lack of sensitivity to the citizens of their community.

  292. JuanValdez says:


    You will not intervene, attempt to help, or otherwise interject yourself into our sphere of influence.

  293. Scott Carroll says:

    Police officers are public servants that work for us and they have no authority to give a ticket for this mans deeds, they were not doing the job that they were hired to do and by default we have to step in once and a while to help. The officers should be reprimanded and the chief of police needs to be replaced.

  294. Eman Gregory says:

    TAKE YOUR MEDICINE, so cal !!!!
    that is what you get for voting liberal/prgressive !! you want government to wipe your butts all the time and when they cant get to you fast enough they spank you for Doing their job !!!

  295. Eman Gregory says:

    TAKE YOUR MEDICINE, so cal !!!!
    that is what you get for voting liberal/prgressive !! you want government to wipe your butts all the time and when they cant get to you fast enough they spank you for Doing their job !!!

  296. R Young says:

    The police did not have time to direct the traffic but had time to go an issue a ticket. Great one South Pasadena police, you should be proud of yourselves.

  297. Snarfel McDuff says:

    The way I understand it is that the only powers we the people can delegate to the police is powers we have already. If we cannot direct trafic legally, then we cannot delegate this to the police.
    If you need an example, think citizen arrest. Think self defense.

  298. teaisstronger says:


    Citizens are also authorized by law to issue citations. He should have cited the cop for dereliction of duty. America’s police have turned their backs on the American people and are now in it for the money.

  299. teaisstronger says:

    They are Union Thugs, they are in charge that means they will do anything they want to do which is nothing.

  300. jj says:

    We had a traffic signal out once and traffic was backed up. I called the chief of police to request an officer direct traffic, to which he responded he didn’t have the manpower.

    I went back by there and found a cop hiding behind the gas station giving tickets to people cutting through the parking lot to avoid the mess. So they have enough pigs to give tickets but nobody to help alleviate the problem(?!) Sound like Pasedena has the same training.

  301. richar says:

    reminds me of a time when a neighbors house was broken into….she saw the front door ajar, called the cops and when they arrived and drew their guns, they placed HER in front of them as a shield and for her to lead the way…..she refused to do so and demanded that they enter first….pretty sad…..

  302. lefsaman says:

    “do not have the manpower to direct traffic”…..I can imagine how many donut eaters showed for the ticketing. Most cops are think picking up a road hazard or directing traffic is below their paygrade. Sad.

  303. klr says:

    lets prosecute todd beamer, et. .al. for interfering with a flight crew

  304. theslowgringo says:

    from the east coast — there is only one response, its California. no other explanation needed.

  305. Kth Rhodes says:

    The stupidity of law enforcement never ceases to amaze me. This man committed the worst of violations, contempt of cop. I guess they couldn’t work that intersection because they were too busy polishing their jack boots.

  306. B Hopkins says:

    about a traffic fine but it is about power.

  307. george says:

    If only it were true that an incident such as this one “forces our elected city leaders and department managers to come up with a better and more effective traffic management solution.” In reality, those “leaders” and “managers” just continue sitting on their collective duffs, earning fat paychecks and racking up the pensions they can start collection at age 50. They don’t care about you or your problems, and they have proved they don’t want you helping the public at the expense of their precious image.

  308. Why Not? says:

    While I’m in full agreement with and commend Alan’s actions, and have posted to that effect above, it bears stating that some of the comments here are over the top, and have expanded the discussion way beyond the merits of this particular event.

    Consider that police officers do a lot more than deal with traffic. In my estimation, the vast majority are honest, hardworking folks who typically deal with the two or three percent of society members whom most of us are fortunate to avoid on a daily basis. We don’t have to walk around with body armor in the middle of summer with a target painted on us. We don’t make the felony traffic stop at 2 AM. We don’t suffer the glare of half the population that just doesn’t like cops for whatever reason, valid or otherwise. We don’t open a paycheck that amounts to ten percent of what the drug dealer makes every day that the courts released for whatever reason. We don’t say goodbye to our spouse and kids on our way to work, knowing that it may be a final goodbye.

    I’m not a cop now or ever, nor am I related to one; and I’ve had my share of traffic stops for what I consider to be silly reasons (e.g., headlight out at high noon, inspection sticker lapsed for three days, etc.). I’ve been frustrated when police did not pursue the people who defrauded my checking account. I’ve watched them watch maniac drivers go by, only to pull into a fastfood restaurant for lunch. But these amount to a tiny fraction of the times I’ve seen them on patrol, doing what they’re supposed to do, day in and day out, generally without much appreciation from the public they serve (yes, serve).

    Let’s keep the comments in perspective. When you’ve lived in or visited, as I have, several foreign countries in which the cops really are the enemy, it’s easier to appreciate the reality we have in most communities in the US. Blaming cops for everything from excess donut consumption (come on, let’s get over that old cliche) to mass murder or its equivalent, simply fuels the fire, and will convince the good cops out there that we hold all of them in contempt–not exactly a motivation for them to care about you the next time you need help.

  309. Brian says:

    The problem is the man was not in the union.

  310. POL743 says:

    This is exactly why I dont help out anyone anymore! I was always the first one on a scene of an accident or similar and every single time…got slapped in the face for helping out before Police or Fire would arrive. No More….I’m not going to waste my time anymore….If the PD and FD want to be at the top of the ring just because they got training…then fine….help yourselves….But let me say this…I walked around fields of land mines……Dodged bullets as they whipped inches near my head day after days…Slept in trenches full of snakes, spiders and scorpions! Survived a helicopter crash, survived an explosive device and was stabbed in the back by a knife…..But if they are going to tell me “I dont need to be there!” (at the scene of an accident) Directing traffic……then “F” them! They told me they did not have the man power to come out and stop an 8 hour barking dog but they were able to come out and tell me my radio was too loud and it was disturbing a neighbor??? What is wrong here!

  311. Savetheplace says:

    What a great scam – seems that nothing changes in South Pas. Get a citizen to perform the duty for free and then ticket him for the revenue. So glad we moved out of that area and that state to Virginia. California is hopelessly lost in terms of morality, financially, and liberty.

  312. d morgan says:

    I have two things to say or questions to ask: 1 The police didn’t have time to correct a problem, but they found the time to issue a ticket?

    2: My bet is that if a police official found himself in that traffic jam he would manage to find the time to at least correct it for himself.

  313. Random Observer says:

    I agree that this is a ridiculous abuse of authority.

    CVC 21956(a) reads: No pedestrian may walk upon any roadway outside of a business or residence district otherwise than close to his or her left-hand edge of the roadway.

    On google maps, that intersection sure looks like it’s in a business or residential distrct. I think you can beat the ticket.

  314. Kebb says:

    Well of course police weren’t directing the traffic. More wrecks means more tickets issued thus more money. The police exist as a revenue source for the city, not to serve and protect the public.

  315. Jim says:

    The chief said he didnt have enough manpower to serve the people that elected him but he sure did find the man power to go issue the ticket

  316. Ed C says:

    He’s lucky he wasn’t a minority; they would’ve tasered him then beaten him.

  317. David Pruitt says:

    When Our founding fathers did their jobs,,, they did it for free,, for the good of the whole. That’s what this guy was doing,, and now corrupt and over paid Gubment,, is got their panties in a wad, Shame on you Police guy. when will Cali,, finnaly succeed to mexico? or fall off into the ocean where it belongs?

  318. Chris says:

    Is the Glendale PD over in South Pas training or something?

  319. joebiteme says:

    Ithink you little peoples need to follow mo better or obamo gonna smoke yo

  320. Barry Hirsh says:

    He’ll be acquitted.

    This is nonsense.

  321. watching here says:

    Interesting article, but it seems to have missed telling us what the ticket was for.

  322. bill says:

    When did police not become citizens?
    Someone needs to remind them that they are JUST citizens.

  323. Jenn Johnson says:

    So they “didnt have the man power to staff the intersection”, and didn’t bother doing it themselves after ticking Mr Ehrlich, BUT they had the time to ticket the poor guy? What a crock of S%$#.

    The world would be a much better place if we had more people like you, Alan Ehrlich! Bless you!

  324. Phelps says:

    quick! The Chief needs to get to Logan Utah and ticket that whole crowd of people who helped to life that truck off the accident victim! The nerve of them!

  325. Djedefre says:

    I find it VERY interesting that the ONE cop (of thier “limited manpower”) that would have been needed to direct traffic was too busy ticketing Mr. Ehrlich… Hmm, wait a second…..

  326. Jon Weiss says:

    Just another example of how when dealing with liberals no good deed goes unpunished.

    I am glad I don’t live in a city with police of such questionable appreciation and competence.

    Should you people in the SPPD ever need my assistance on anything, don’t bother to ask, I would not want to get in the way of the “Keystone Cops.”

  327. Jon Weiss says:

    “To Protect And To Serve”

    To Protect their Union backed Jobs and To Server their own self interests.

  328. Costa Mesa resident says:

    This is why I have no respect for cops and that I don’t mourn for cops when tragedy strikes. All cops are pigs. They either beat you to death like those jack-booted thugs in Fullerton or they give you tickets for doing a good deed.

  329. Lena says:

    South Pasadena is a city the size of a postage stamp that fiercely enforces parking. It’s all about the ticket revenue.

  330. Bud says:

    I’m not sure but I think the reason he was ticketed was because the city does not want to get sued if this guy directs a vehicle into another. If they don’t issue a ticket, then they are seen as condoning the action and thereby could be held as liable.

  331. LILIA says:



  332. Joe in Missouri says:

    Get rid of and fire all police departments and we would be richer and safer.

  333. Roadhot says:

    South Pasadena PD is a joke. That type of city should be a “Spirit of the Law” city and not a “Letter of the Law” city. A citizen goes out of his way to help and gets ticketed. SP is known for their ridiculous revenue raising fees, charging for everything, even “slowing down to look at their station.” A little ridiculous I know, but that’s what it has become. That officer should be written up, and his supervisor should also be written up. Horrible policing. Get with the times and start acting professionally, not like sniveling, whining B-Team wannabes. So tacky….



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