Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Cellphone ticket, but no cellphone

Couple suspects officers trying to fill quota

  • Print

Laszlo and Margaret Piszker go out for lunch every Friday, but last week the retired Crestview couple had a run-in with the law over a non-existent cellphone.

The Piszkers were returning home from lunch at the Olive Garden when they were pulled over by a police cruiser on Portage Avenue.

"I got out to see what was wrong and the officers said that they'd both seen me talking on a cellphone," Laszlo Piszker, 74, said. "I was dumbfounded. I told him, 'Cellphone -- what cellphone? I don't own a cellphone. I never have."

Laszlo said the police officers -- there were two of them in the cruiser -- ignored his pleas.

"I invited them to look inside the car and I turned out my pockets," Laszlo, a retired machinist, said. "I mean, if I had a cellphone and I was using it, I wouldn't have said a thing and just accepted the ticket, but this really annoyed me. I don't own a cellphone."

Laszlo said he at first refused to take the ticket from the officer, but then the officer said he'd be arrested if he refused.

"So I took it, but I'm going to fight it."

Margaret Piszker, 72, said she'd heard on the news that police were going to be issuing more tickets to motorists, particularly those illegally using cellphones while driving, but she said she just doesn't understand why the two young officers targeted her husband.

"I don't want to have to pay it," Margaret said of the ticket for $199.80.

"Everyone knows that Laszlo just doesn't understand electronics," Margaret said. "If he had a cellphone, he wouldn't know how to use it. He's only just learned to get the DVD to work with the TV."

Margaret said the couple are technophobes. "We don't have a computer or the Internet. The land-line phone is the only phone we have. We don't even have an answer phone."

The Piszkers said that after accepting the ticket, they drove to their neighbourhood community police centre, where they explained the situation to the two duty officers behind the desk.

"One of them chuckled and the other said he knew somebody was trying to build his quota," Laszlo said.

"I think that's what they were doing -- they saw two old people and they thought they would give them a ticket."

Margaret said she's concerned how they're going to defend the case in court.

"We could bring our best friends, Joan and Bruce -- if anyone knew Laszlo had a cellphone it would be Joan and Bruce, and they know Laszlo has never had a cellphone.

"We could get our daughter, who lives in Pennsylvania, to write a letter. She's always asked us when we were going to get a cellphone. If we had a cellphone number, our daughter would know it, and she knows we've never had a cellphone," said Margaret

"I'm the stupidest person you'd ever meet when it comes to electronics," Laszlo said.

"When I tell our friends what happened, they're laughing.

"This is just annoying," Laszlo said. "I'm not going to take it. I'm going to fight it."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 5, 2012 A5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Now that former cabinet minister Theresa Oswald has entered the NDP leadership race, do you believe the "gang of five" rebel ministers were right to publicly criticize Premier Greg Selinger's leadership?

View Results

Ads by Google