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Man gets $128 ticket for leaving car running in his own driveway

Commentary: On Facebook, thousands are enthralled by what happened to a Best Buy employee in a Michigan town.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

The ticket in question.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When you're at home, you're able to stand your ground and do anything you like, right?

As long as it's not hurting anyone else, that is.

That's what Taylor Trupiano of Macomb, Michigan thought before he fell foul of the law in his own driveway last Tuesday morning.

What had he done? Performed animal sacrifices on his doorstep? Set up a croquet lawn in his front yard? Not quite. He'd left his car running in the driveway. Yes, his own driveway. (Michigan is cold in winter.)

The ticket was for $128. Naturally, Trupiano, who says he works at Best Buy as a connected devices sales consultant, posted it to Facebook for public delectation.

He added this emotive message: "Let's all take a moment to thank officer dipshit K. Keary for wasting the taxpayer's money and giving me a ticket for warming up my car in my own damn driveway."

Thousands have already shared this post. There are already more than 5,000 comments. Many are as bemused as Trupiano. Is this some sort of environmental penalty? Is it about the noise? No and no. It's not a state law, but a local ordinance that says cars cannot be left running and unattended, unless they were started remotely and the doors are locked.

Neither Trupiano nor the Roseville Police Department immediately responded to a request for comment.

However, police chief James Berlin told WXYZ-TV: "We have five to ten cars stolen this way every winter. It's dangerous, and of course it drives everyone's insurance rates up. It drives our crime rate up."

Trupiano told WXYZ that he thought it was a joke at first. He said the officer didn't bother to knock on his door to tell him about the ticket. He said he'd left his car running for around 7-8 minutes.

The situation has now turned even more bitter than the Michigan weather.

Trupiano has posted a video that shows Berlin not warming to Trupiano's situation. "Did you see the disparaging claims about my officer? Drop dead," says Berlin. The video comes from Detroit's Channel 4.

In response, Trupiano appealed to fellow Facebookers: "If anyone has a second to help report the the [sic] chief of police for roseville telling me to drop dead on channel 4. It would be greatly appreciated."

I sense this one may run and run a little longer than Trupiano's car did that day.