In a lawsuit filed Friday, single mother Evangelina Paredes of Cicero accuses Stickney Police Officer Christopher Collins, 27, of violating her privacy and violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). The suit alleges that after Collins pulled over Paredes on October 22 for speeding, two days later he left a note on the windshield of her car, asking her out on a date. Attached to the lawsuit is a copy of the handwritten note:
“Hello, it’s Chris I’m that ugly bald Stickney cop who gave you that ticket on Saturday. I know this may seem crazy and you’re probably right, but truth is I have not stopped thinking about you since. I don’t expect a girl as attractive as you to be single, or even go for a guy like me but I’m taking a shot anyways. Because the truth is I’ll probably never see you again un-less I do, and I could never forgive my-self. Listen if I never hear from you I understand, but hey I did cost you $132 least I can do is buy you dinner. Little about me real quick I just turned 27, did 4 years in the Army, and been a cop for just over 3 years. Hope to hear from you one way or another. Thanks!!!”
Well, Collins did hear from her, but not in the way he hoped....the suit seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It alleges that Collins violated the DPPA by accessing Paredes' motor vehicle records and personal information. The suit states that "the DPPA was passed by Congress to prevent stalkers, harassers, and would-be criminals from obtaining and using personal information from motor vehicle records." It goes on to say, "the letter caused [Paredes] to suffer great fear and anxiety. Plaintiff could not believe that a police officer would use his access to her personal information to find her home and stalk her. She instantly felt unsafe in her own home and feared for her safety and the safety of her children. Defendant Collins used his authority and position as a police officer not to protect the public, but to attempt to manipulate the Plaintiff into going out on a date with him."
Both Paredes and her attorney, Carlos Becerra, declined on-camera interviews. Over the phone, Becerra told NBC 5, "This is private information that was accessed by a police officer who we entrust to uphold the law. That would be intimidating to any of us." Becerra went on to say, "she filed this lawsuit thinking of other women who may have been propositioned by police officers, and women who this may happen to in the future."
Phone calls to Officer Collins seeking comment from him or his attorney were not immediately returned.