DELAND, Fla. - A central Florida attorney wants a DeLand police officer to show up in court to explain why he skipped a traffic hearing after pulling him over for "impolitely" honking his horn.
It started Feb. 21 when DeLand Detective Christopher Jusick stopped Michael Lambert and gave him a warning for honking his horn at him after the traffic light turned green. Lambert, a criminal defense attorney, told the officer he wanted a ticket instead of a warning.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports Lambert subpoenaed Jusick to appear at an April hearing but he didn't show.
"In my mind, he was a coward," Lambert said. "He just wasn't going to show up. But if you are going to abuse your power to pull people over, you better have the intestinal constitution to stand before the court and say this is what I did and this is why I did it."
Justick declined comment to the News-Journal.
Lambert filed a motion asking Volusia County Judge Shirley Green to order the officer to explain why he shouldn't be held in contempt of court for failing to appear in court.
The newspaper reports Lambert was stopped in his car behind Jusick's unmarked car on Feb. 21. When the light turned green, Lambert said the driver looking down, so he honked the horn.
"I just tapped it a little bit and he shot off like a rocket," Lambert said.
The car pulled into a parking lot, then got behind Lambert's vehicle and pulled him over.
Lambert said Jusick asked if he knew why he'd been stopped. He said, "no." Jusick said the officer told him he "impolitely" honked his horn.
The officer went to his vehicle to check Lambert's license. When he returned, he told Lambert: "It's your lucky day, I'm only giving you a warning."
Lambert said he told Jusick if "you have the authority to stop me then you better give me a ticket."
Jusick told Lambert he could simply pay the $167 fine. But Lambert told him he would see him in court.
Jusick sent the hearing officer a letter asking for the case to be dismissed. It wasn't and Jusick didn't show up on April 15.
"This isn't about me," Lambert said. "If they have a right to just interrupt people's lives, write tickets and make them come to court and they don't show up, it kind of makes a joke of the entire system."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.