I have lived in Baton Rouge almost all of my life and have been an LSU football fan ever since graduation. On Sept. 13, my car was vandalized while I was at the game.

Through the years, I have parked all over the vicinity of the LSU campus. As the crowds have grown, it’s almost impossible to park on the campus, with allocations of almost all of the spaces to parking pass holders. The last several years, I have parked on Iowa Street between West Roosevelt and West McKinley.

I always avoid paying someone for a spot on the street itself, always parking farther away until I find a space with no parking fee signs.

For the recent ULM game, I parked on the corner of West Garfield and Iowa with no signs evident and the truck with all four wheels on the street. As my niece and I started walking toward the stadium, a woman, holding a broom and in the company of a man, came around the corner and said there’s no charge for parking because it’s on the road, but if you want the car watched and kept safe in this area, I will keep an eye on it for $10. I told her, “Oh, thank you,” and we went on to the stadium.

I left the game after halftime and went home. My wife saw the rear of the truck and the right rear tail lens was smashed and the lamps broken. There was a small dent below the tail light on the body of the truck. My truck is just weeks old.

I don’t know what the moral of this story is. I was on the LSU football parking pass list for years and never got one, and LSU TAF charges a fee each year to stay on the list. My office forgot one year, and I lost my place in line. I gave up on that. I don’t know what the situation is with LSU football general parking, and I guess I now know that’s safer for sure. I don’t go to every game.

Here’s the deal: Be prepared to pay protection money to be safe from those who want to charge you to be safe. It’s extortion, plain and simple, for parking on a public right-of-way. I can’t be the first. Please blog on this letter if you have similar experiences about highway robbery and vandalism. City police and LSU, I hope you are listening.

Wilfred Barry

engineer

Baton Rouge