7 on your Side solves car boot mistake on Long Island

MASSAPEQUA, Long Island (WABC) -- Ingrid Stasichin feels kicked to the curb by Nassau County after her family's cars were booted four times last summer.

"You don't know what to do, it's embarrassing," Stasichin said.

The heavy metal wheel locks paralyzed the working mom of three kids. The first time was last June, with both cars immobilized right in front of their home.

And then there's the real kicker -- Stasichin and her husband don't have any outstanding violations, yet somehow they wound up on the boot alert list.

"This is why I got so upset and angry at the same time," she said.

Stasichin is not alone. Just miles away, in Massapequa Park, Heather Cafiero says she had 16 pounds of steel strapped to her minivan.

"A nightmare," she said. "I walked out of the restaurant with the three children, and I had a boot on my car."

She says she has no idea why it all happened.

"I've never received any sort of ticket in the mail," she said. "I've never had a speeding ticket in my life. If I would have gotten it, it would have rang a bell. I didn't know of any of unpaid tickets."

Both moms were told that red light camera and moving violations from 2014 were the reason for the big ticket boots.

"My only option? Pay the $644" Cafiero said.

Stasichin, on the other hand, had to give a credit card payment of $1,500.

After her first boot, Stasichin and her husband presented proof that their violations were paid in full. Plus, they got dismissal letters from the county they've kept for the last four years.

Still, after the head of the county's parking violations apologized for the error, citing misinformation, they were victims of two more botched bootings. After we got involved, there were profuse apologies, plus an unexpected refund. The county found a credit for $821.76 in mistaken violations and sent the family two checks.

"Thank you so much, Channel 7," Stasichin said. "Thank you, Nina. This just proves you have to keep pushing for what you believe is right."

The county said it performed a thorough review of Cafiero's concerns, insisting she failed to respond to several mailings and that she had previously responded to their mailings at her home address.

Cafiero insisted she was never notified by phone, email or mail that she had outstanding violations.

As for Stasichin, after 7 On Your Side contacted the county, County Executive Laura Curran called her to personally apologize vowing to ensure this will never happen again.

"Upon learning of this situation, I ordered a full review of our process," she said. "Nassau County will do whatever is necessary to ensure this will never happen again."

The big takeaway is that Stasichin kept records that she paid her violations, which helped her fight the botched boots and get refunds.

The full statement from Nassau County follows:

A thorough review conducted by the Traffic and Parking Violations Bureau concluded Ms. Cafiero failed to respond to several mailings sent to her current address. She had previously received other violations at this address and did respond to them, but not by the deadline date.

Karen Contino, Nassau County

Statement From Nassau County Executive Laura Curran:

I personally reached out to the Stasichin Family and apologized on behalf of the County. Upon learning of this situation, I ordered a full review of our process. Nassau County will do whatever is necessary to ensure this will never happen again.

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