, Salem, MA

Local News

October 30, 2012

'Parking rage' lands woman in hot water

SALEM — A Rhode Island woman who found herself wedged into a parking space by another driver in downtown Salem on Friday evening took matters — and a marker — into her own hands, police say.

Beth-Sue Dwares, 52, of Johnston, R.I., scrawled “ignorant (expletive)” with a black Sharpie on the hood of a rented 2012 Mazda parked at the intersection of Brown Street and Kimball Court, an act of vandalism witnessed by Sgt. Harry Rocheville, head of the Salem Police Department’s Community Impact Unit. He happened to be on a foot patrol near Salem Common at the time, around 5:30 p.m.

As Rocheville and another officer, Patrolman Robert Phelan, approached, they saw her tossing a marker into the side of her own Honda. They say she also scrawled the same words, in lipstick, on the Mazda’s window.

“It’s very out of character for me,” said an embarrassed Dwares as she left court yesterday, where she tried to persuade a judge to let her resolve the case. Instead, she’ll have to come back on Nov. 29.

She admitted to a reporter that she let her anger get the better of her.

Dwares, a nurse, had come to Salem with a friend for a day of Halloween sightseeing, but when they returned to her car, found they could not pull out of the space.

“He blocked me in so bad,” she said, describing how the driver of the Mazda (not identified in the police report) had parked too close to her car, making it impossible for her to pull out.

“I just got really PO’ed,” she said. “I never do stuff like that.”

Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski said yesterday that the best course of action in such a situation is to call police, who might have been able to help.

The car is owned by Hertz and appeared to have been rented at the Manchester, N.H., airport.

Police said they couldn’t remove the writing when they attempted to wipe it off, and that led to a charge of vandalism.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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