Lono Tyson straddles the fence between humble and irrepressible. Today, he has a cautionary tale for anyone who has to park a car in a hurry.
Tyson is 83 years old and has been visiting Seal Beach for more than 40 years.
“And I’ll keep coming back too,” Tyson said, despite recently going through what some might have experienced as a trip through the twilight zone.
An avid runner from Monrovia, Tyson visited Seal Beach on April 2 to compete in the Seal Beach Run’s 10K event. At an age when many people 25 years his junior might huff and puff just to compete in the Kids 1K Fun Run/Walk, Tyson handily completed the 10K and won a medal in his age group.
His elation at the finish line quickly evaporated after the awards ceremony when he noticed his car was missing.
“I found out that my vehicle had been impounded due to the city’s parking violation #815010,” he said. “I was told to proceed to the Seal Beach Police Station and I had no transportation.”
The station is on Seal Beach Boulevard, a few miles out of Old Town and the area near pier.
“I had to start running again, after doing a 10K,” he said. “At the station I was told to pay $80 with cash or a check to recover my vehicle. I had neither the cash or a check.”
Meanwhile, Tyson said that as a senior citizen, he lives on a fixed income.
Tyson said he felt “lucky” to find out that a branch of his bank was located just a few miles away from the police station.
“So off I go again, running to the bank on Seal Beach Bou-levard,” he said.
Tyson drew out the cash he needed and then ran back to the police station, paid the $80 and then took off for the towing company, once more, on foot. However, at one point Tyson said he did manage to get a partial ride from two “good Samaritans when I really needed it.”
In order to release his vehicle, Tyson said, the towing company said he would have to pay $260.
Once again, Tyson said he felt “lucky” that the towing company accepted Visa cards.
A couple of week later, Tyson said, he received a citation from the city of Seal Beach with a fine of $43.
He said he was also told there was no record of him having paid the initial $80 for the police to release his vehicle.
“Luckily, I have a receipt from them for that,” Tyson said. “The total fees for all of this amounted to $383.
Tyson said he is not angry.
“I will do the Seal Beach 10K again next year,” he said. “But I will never again get a parking violation like this.”