A good deed turned into a $175 fine for a Regina man.
Dane Rusk told CTV News he saw a man standing on the side of the road as he was driving away from a mall on Wednesday.
“As I came up to the stop sign, I stopped and looked and I saw this homeless guy holding a sign,” he said. “I instantly felt sorry for him.”
Rusk said he unbuckled his seatbelt, gave the man $3 and went on his way.
Then the cops showed up.
"The police officer came up behind me and pulled me over and told me I was getting a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt," Rusk told Global News.
The man Rusk thought was a panhandler turned out to be an undercover Regina Police Services officer. Insp. Evan Bray told the broadcaster the officer was part of the force's "intersection project," which nabs drivers committing traffic violations. It's a tactic that police have used before.
Bray says the officer Rusk saw was not soliciting any donations.
“He was dressed in plain clothes and he did have a sign," he said. "The sign read ‘I’m not broke, I’m not hungry, have a great day.'”
"We would not write a ticket to a person who took their seatbelt off to give money to someone that they thought was a panhandler," Bray told CJME, adding that there are more details to the story that will be revealed in court.
Rusk says he feels like "it's entrapment" and will be fighting the $175 fine he received.
“Here I am getting in trouble because I took my seatbelt off for two seconds to pull change out of my pocket and reach out and give it to a guy,” he told Global.
According to CJME, 40 people were ticketed on Wednesday in less than 90 minutes for seatbelt infractions or for using their cellphones while driving.
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