san-francisco-bay-bridge-california-1935.jpgSome commuters who were stuck in traffic last month during a police standoff with a distraught man on the Bay Bridge also thought they were stuck with a fine afterward.

Hundreds of motorists who weren’t able to make it across the bridge that morning were either charged a toll on their FasTrak transponders or received a toll violation notice in the mail, Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin said today.

The standoff occurred the morning of Nov. 11, when Craig Carlos-Valentino, 51, of Antioch, stopped his SUV on the bridge and threatened to commit suicide.

Carlos-Valentino, who had his daughter in the car and said he was distraught over marital problems, called authorities to say he had a gun and explosives in his car.

He was eventually taken into custody and the bridge was reopened.

Westbound traffic was turned around at the toll plaza, but cars had to go through the plaza in order to turn around.

“Everyone who went through the toll plaza with FastTrak got charged, and everyone who didn’t have FasTrak would have gotten the automatically generated notice,” Goodwin said.

The system sent out the notices in the mail, but after the MTC was notified of the error, those people “received another letter saying the violation has been dismissed in full,” Goodwin said.

“They don’t have to do anything,” he said. “It’s a done deal.”

Goodwin said anyone who still thinks their FasTrak account was charged between 7:15 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Nov. 11, or who received a notice for traveling through the toll plaza during those times without a subsequent dismissal letter, should report the error and it will be reversed.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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