By on September 24, 2018

2016_Toyota_Prius_v, Image: Toyota

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, 42-year old Jamie Petrozzi, was headed southbound on I-5 through Marysville two Wednesdays ago when 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. 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.” 

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 to 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. Petrozzi was arrested for failing to obey instructions, refusing to identify herself, and obstruction — all of which are misdemeanors.

[Image: Toyota]

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113 Comments on “Woman Refuses to Pull Over Because She’s a Prius Driver...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    Oh man… I’m just here for the comments. I bet we get over 200 on this one!

    Who is she? I wonder who is she related to/married to/works for. Part of me hopes that her peculiar judgment was, uh, chemical-influenced.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Maybe she should have told the cop she was on the way to the Cliven Bundy ranch.

  • avatar
    redapple

    CAn you imagine being married to that?
    Can you imagine working with that?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    #MeTooDumb

  • avatar
    brentrn

    “I drive a Smart Car. Please arrest me for the irony.”

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I drive a Dodge Stratus!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    After all the sacrifice she has made driving that slow, droning, penalty box to save the world from global warming, you actually expect her to pay license fees? The state should be paying her, just like they do Tesla owners.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I would have added felony mopery with intent and conspiracy to signal virtue to the charges.

  • avatar
    Hank

    A sense of entitlement can come in many forms, but one that comes from appliance ownership? Beyond tragic.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Refusing to stop for the Police ?? I’m sure there is parts of the world where they would have opened fire on the Prius !

  • avatar
    mikedt

    It’s quite likely this woman was in the total wrong, but man oh man I have seen the cops pull over people in dumb-ass dangerous spots when just 1/4 mile down the road is a safe pull-off or parking lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Rnaboz

      The onus is on the driver. I got pulled over by a statey on a winding road. I drove for 1/2 mile with my hazards on, to the first safe area for him to get out of his cruiser. Got off with a warning.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      It sounds like she drove past one or two perfectly good spots (such as the freeway offramp).

      Looking at the details of the story, southbound on I5 and refusing to stop until one of the Bank of Americas in Marysville WA, I’m guessing she got off I5 at the 116th Street exit (202). Google Street View doesn’t look all that “ghetto” right there, the road surfaces are so-so but nothing to hint at it being “flat tire city,” and there are other perfectly good parking lots in between…

      Maybe she read one too many stories about fake cops pulling over women and then freaked out from there. I bet she uses that for an excuse ^H^H^H reasonable legal defense.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Question from Law-Abiding Citizen here:

    If I do something like slow down and put on my hazards to acknowledge that I’m being pulled over, does that give me some leeway as to where? Like waiting for a wide paved shoulder, or using a nearby exit?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This isn’t Prius snobbery; this is mental illness. Nothing she said made sense, and my guess is that she was having some sort of episode.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      Yeah, this is what I’m thinking here. It’s funny – if you’re fighting a disease that eats away at your body, you’re a hero and they have charity walks for a cure; if you’re fighting a disease that eats away at your brain, they gawk when you act ill and write articles mocking you.

      Oh well.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        One makes you a potential danger to others. It certainly makes you such that you shouldn’t be operating a motor vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          PeriSoft

          That’s as may be, brn, but neither the article nor the comments are saying, “She shouldn’t have driven if she knew she was a danger”; they’re mocking the symptoms of her (possible) illness. If someone with epilepsy misses medication and has an issue driving, people might say, “This guy needs to be more careful with his meds”, but it’s hard to imagine 40 people showing up in the comments to laugh at him for twitching and falling over.

          If you’re aware you’re likely to be medically incapacitated, you shouldn’t drive. But the fact that the problem is with your brain instead of your body really shouldn’t make it open season on you in the media.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            ” A disease that eats away at your brain ”

            Now that would be a condition/conditions I’m all too familiar with.

            With any ailment that could impact driving the Doctors are bound by law to suspend your license. Thats the rule in Ontario.

            In the USA the laws vary from State to State .

            I’m also on Alz.org blog. Convincing someone with Mild Cognitive Impairment “not” to drive, can be a nightmare, for some. Especially the Early Onset Dementia victims . Try taking bank Credit cards, and online banking away from a former bank manager !

            I hid all all the car keys ,and made my wife up a set of old useless keys, that she promptly lost.

            “Dementia” is a symptom that covers many Degenerative Cognitive Disorders including Alzheimers, and its nasty “Early onset ” friend.

            Bottom line…. Even folks in the very early stages should NOT be behind the wheel

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    She should have led the cop on a high mpg chase. The Charger Interceptor would run out of fuel after about 90 minutes and she would easily make it to Captain Planet’s Compost Heap of Solitude, outside of Yakima.

  • avatar
    loner

    Giving this woman the benefit of the doubt – It sounds like perhaps her comments about driving a Prius and her tires keep “popping” might actually be intended as, “I drive a wussy car with wussy tires, and I keep getting flats. I am afraid of pulling on to the shoulder, so I will drive on until I get to a maintained parking lot.”

    Maybe not so crazy or entitled, as much as naive and poor at communicating.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      The part about owning his bank account and his house is tough to reconcile with the benefit of the doubt.

      I get what you mean about not wanting to get a flat tire and I agree that was probably her rationale in the first place. But then she went off the deep end.

      • 0 avatar
        loner

        Well, if I strrrreeeettch the benefit of the doubt a bit more, perhaps by the time she pulled over the cop was now beyond frustrated and gave her hell. Coulda just been reacting to his attitude.

        Or maybe she’s just an entitled nut.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    Often times police officers instruct cars to pull over in dangerous places like on a narrow shoulder, rather than continuing on to a safe parking lot. It drives me nuts. This lady may have had a point.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Okay, you’ve covered her failure to pull over. Now please explain her refusal to exit the vehicle. Fear of scuffing her Manolos?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I have driven many years in the area this took place. There are *plenty* of safe, wide, relatively clean areas she could have pulled over. I-5 in that area has wide shoulders that are well maintained. I have been pulled over on the *inside* shoulder in that area, it was perfectly wide and safe enough. The right hand shoulder is even wider. That’s to say nothing of finding a place in town once she exited the interstate.

      And, then there is her behavior during the stop. Yeah, totally the evil police officer’s fault. He could have at least let her drive to a five star hotel and have her precious prius valet parked for her, in an extra wide, freshly paved and swept-4-times-a-day VIP parking spot. Then let her have a couple of drinks in the lounge, on his credit card of course, to calm down after the extreme stress of being pulled over for breaking the law.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Like John, I’ve driven this section of road many times and it has a nice wide shoulder. Now if she had been a few miles further south then it would a different story. As there are a number of places where they isn’t a full shoulder for some large distances.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I always assumed nice Mr./Ms officer really do not like pulling someone over where they have to hand their butts out into traffic. The roads I routinely drive, I never see traffic stops occurring in such places. The are always in places where there is a very generous shoulder. One place is posted 50 and traffic routinely goes 60-65, but the entire several miles is bridges and minimal shoulder due to its being in a tight canyon. I have never seen a traffic stop there.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Typical Priuchebag driver. They are, on average, the worst, most entitled drivers (by car type) I’ve experienced in my 30 years of driving.

    Either 15 mph below the limit and holding up traffic, or breaking every rule in sight.. I once had one try to force his way into my lane (both lanes were going the same way on the off ramp, just that one backs up but ends up being faster, so he tried to zoom ahead and then cut in to the faster lane) by edging over and over, trying to scare me into stopping. I just kept right up with him, and finally honked at him, and he got the message.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Any word on whether the Prius had a “COEXIST” and/or an NPR sticker?

  • avatar

    Accumulated fact – childless middle-aged white women driving Priuses 8/10 times have severe mental/emotional defects.

  • avatar
    apl

    With the ever increasing use of stealth police vehicles, many are reluctant to pull over or flag down a police vehicle. These stealth patrol vehicles have no roof mounted light bar, hidden emergency lights, and many times have ghost identifying graphics, playing right into the hands of police imposters who use hidden emergency lights to over victims. Use of hidden emergency lights by actual police get motorists used to just pulling over when these lights are seen in the mirror. Stop with the hide the police care mindset, and mandate roof mounted light bars with colored lenses so the light bar can be seen even when not activated for the sake of those who need to flag down the police for assistance. What is next, stealth police uniforms?

  • avatar

    Sure she is a part of “Resistance” movement. It means not obeying rule of law and questioning Police officers and emigrating to EU or Canada with their superior healthcare system and social security, tolerance and forgiveness. And never returning back to America. I bet my bank account on that.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    This woman falls into so many stereotypes, its not even funny. Not all Washingtonians are entitled, self-righteous idiots, but there are enough of them to make the rest look bad. There are times I’m very glad I don’t live there anymore, despite all the good people I know up there. Usually its from about September through May, but also when I’m reminded of how some of them choose to act, like this woman.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are stupid people everywhere, but I’ve seen my share of hopelessly inept people in that area. I don’t know how you can have multiple degrees and make 6 figures, yet still be a complete idiot who tries repeatedly to insert your Triple Platinum Reserve Select Blue Black Silver Gold Bill Gates Edition credit card into the dollar bill receptacle of an old vending machine.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Stereotypes exist for a reason. But if we’re gonna slap them on this person for driving a Prius, you better be ready to accept it on someone driving almost any make/model without whining about it.

  • avatar
    mtunofun1

    Although this story was funny as hell, it’s definitely an outlier. Most people I know aren’t greenie SJW’s with “go vegan” bumper stickers on the back. They just want an affordable car that’s reliable and fuel efficient. Hell, I saw and Prius the other day with a “Nobama” bumper sticker.

  • avatar
    kwong

    Actually I support the idea of not pulling over on the highway. It would make more sense to exit the highway and pull over in at a gas station or populated strip mall parking lot because there will be more witnesses and you will have fewer lookey-loos. Pulling over on the highway would be dangerous for everyone and it will slow down traffic. Ever watch those videos of inattentive drivers careening into cars stopped on the shoulder?

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Interesting this makes the news when there are dozens or hundreds of instances every day of people doing far more dangerous and antisocial things with “performance” cars. I guess because the Prius incident is so unusual. The driver sounds like she has a mental problem.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Weird. A psycho Prius driver (redundant I know) from Washington State.

    I bet she makes up some baseless claims of being sexually harassed by the trooper 35 years ago.

    People like this need to be removed from civilized society. I hear Siberia is nice this time of year.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      Sounds great. You should try it.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “People like this need to be removed from civilized society. I hear Siberia is nice this time of year.”

      Trust me, they don’t want her over there. When I go to Siberia these days it is actually a refreshing break from all the politically charged SJW politics and other nonsense, and none of the crazy waves of refugees that Western Europe is suffering. Just people raising families, having lots of kids, sanctions be damned.

      • 0 avatar

        “Just people raising families, having lots of kids, sanctions be damned.”

        That is why Russia is sanctioned – because of not being politically correct. You cannot have a lot of normal (in terms of 1950s) kids and live simple life – it is not politically correct.

    • 0 avatar

      Eventually all liberals end up in labor camps because even communists have to establish law and order as soon as they take over the power – thanks to liberals. That is what happened in every communist country with socialized medicine and free college education.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @Inside Looking Out; That is the funniest post I have read in weeks. Thanks so very much for highlighting the reality that not one established liberal democracy has ever ‘become’ communist.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    A while back, I landed up with a Prius rental car while my car was getting some accident damage repaired. Immediately, 30 something women were interested in me. My current opinion is a Prius is better than a Porsche if you are looking to be a player.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      They mustve either been 67 year old aging boomer ex hippies, or assumed you were a feminist beta soy boi upon seeing the car. Someone should offer a cash bounty of photo evidence of attractive people driving Priuses, because its pretty much the same kinds of people 99.999% of the time. The women I’m attracted to have specifically stated that owning a hybrid car, especially a prius is an immediate and savage rejection.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Chicks driving a Prius? Usually hirsute anthropology students with weapons grade acne. Either that or lonely 30-something bank tellers with 6 cats and elderly mothers who are becoming burdensome. The Prius is not the vehicle of choice among cheerful women.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    She missed several of Chris’s recommendations here-including “obey the law” and “be polite’.

    https://youtu.be/uj0mtxXEGE8

  • avatar
    JGlanton

    In the beginning she was too absorbed in smelling her own farts to notice the cop, and when she did, she didn’t want to open the window and waste the exquisite scent. So she made up the lame tire popping story in a fleeting moment of self-awareness.

    That’s my analysis of the situation given the facts at hand.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Hybrid is so 2004, she is nobody unless she’s driving an EV.

  • avatar
    Tree Trunk

    Dang it the police saw a Prius! I drive a gray prius, stretching the speed limited to the max on the same long commute for a decade and have never once been pulled over, knock on wood.

    Say what you want about the prius but it is the perfect commuter not only because of the milage but also to the near invisibility to law enforcement.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    She refused to pull over because she’s a sanctimonious b****.

  • avatar

    May I play Devil’s advocate here?

    DOT seldom if ever sweeps the Interstate shoulders of gravel, glass, nails & screws. The one flat I EVER had on my motorcycle resulted from pulling on to the shoulder to remove a layer of clothing. Drywall/deck screw.

    I absolutely understand leading a trooper to the next exit. If nothing else too many morons, drunks, and cellphone using drivers threaten to sideswipe you pulled over on a highway shoulder.

    /flamesuit on.


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