WASHINGTON (WJLA) — Vietnam veteran Doug Nelson, and his wife Nancy were mystified when the District of Columbia wouldn't dismiss thousands of dollars in speeding tickets against them, racked-up by criminals who stole their car at gunpoint.
"I got a police report,” said Nancy. “How simple is that to say, 'Oh, these are victims, let us help them.'”
Instead, they were blocked at every turn.
They couldn't get new tags to replace the ones the carjackers stole until they paid up.
At one point I was saying, should I just give up?” said Nancy. “So, I wrote 7 On Your Side. And 7 was truly on my side. The District government was not on my side. You were on my side.
When we started asking questions and requesting interviews, the red tape began to unravel.
Suddenly tickets that totaled more than $5,000 in fines and penalties were being dismissed.
We asked the Nelsons what it tells them that the city dragged this out for six months until 7News got involved and then, essentially fixed the problem overnight.
“That says that they don't want to be in the news,” said Nancy. “They don't want to be seen like the bad guy when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
The Nelsons say an apology from the city would be nice, given all they went through.
The District declined an interview with 7News but told us they'd been in communication with the Nelsons to get this resolved.
"No," said Nancy. "They have not been in communications with me. I would love to hear from them."
Doug and Nancy say this is about much more than the two of them and worry about others in similar situations.
“How many other people have been suffering? You know, the way I'm suffering?” said Nancy.
The city's in a good position to stonewall you," said Doug, "and make you jump through the hoops and follow their directives and then they say, ‘I, don't think so.’ And you're still stuck.'
Doug and Nancy say they hope the District can get its act together to help those who are victimized.
“Use a little compassion and common sense when you’re dealing with a situation,” said Doug.