A Washington State Patrol trooper was confronted with occupational difficulties earlier this month while attempting to pull over a woman driving a Toyota Prius with expired tags. The woman,Â 42-year old Jamie Petrozzi, was headed southbound on I-5 through Marysville two Wednesdays ago whenÂ the trooper turned on his lights and attempted a traffic stop.
The driver made no attempt to stop on the highway and, instead, exited a mile later before finally stopping at an intersection. From here, the highway patrolman ordered her to pull over using his loudspeaker.Â Petrozzi declined to cooperate, forcing the trooper to approach the side of the car and instruct her to pull off the road. “I will not,” she said, according to the arrest report. “I drive a Prius. I am not pulling over there.”Â
Rather than conducting the traffic stop at her current location, the Olympia resident said she would instead pull into a nearby parking lot to conduct her business with police. After a fourth refusal to pull over, she was arrested.
According toÂ Everett’s The Daily Herald, which was shared with us via Jalopnik, the woman refused to leave her vehicle when asked and went into a fury when taken into custody. “I will own your bank account. I will own your house,” she was reported to have said.
While you could chalk the encounter up to an impatient trooper or a civilian suffering from a complete lack of practical prudence, the Prius angle makes this a hell of a lot more interesting. The time for being smug and protective of your Prius is over, and has been for about a decade. While it’s always been unnecessary, it hasn’t been fashionable since the the model’s third generation appeared.
Leave the “I own you” backtalk to the trust-fun kid driving a gold-painted BMW M4, as it has to make officers feel empowered when issuing a ticket. Meanwhile, hearing that kind of thing from a Prius owner just seems like it would be more confusing than anything else.
The police report alleges Petrozzi said she refused to move to the shoulder because her tires keep “popping,” which apparently, in her mind, had something to do with its status as a Prius. We think the only thing that was popping was the driver’s bad attitude. However, if her vehicle was suffering from some kind of audible issue, that only makes her unwillingness to stop even more confounding.Â Petrozzi was arrested for failing to obey instructions, refusing to identify herself, and obstruction â€” all of which are misdemeanors.