The driver stays in the truck for 33 hours to avoid being towed by A1
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A truck driver who came to Memphis to recover a stolen tractor trailer from Chicago stayed inside a big rig for more than 33 hours to avoid being towed by A1’s Towing and Hauling.
Owner MHT Group Inc. said: His driver got gassed at the Shelby Express on East Shelby Drive, parked somewhere, and was in the process of paying for parking with his dispatch when the A1 ran and blocked the car.
“We got a receipt. We called the gas station. We showed the receipt. We called the towing company, and they said, ‘Oh, we kicked you out ten minutes before you got that receipt,'” said the MHT owner, who did not want to be identified.
He said his company offered to pay A1 $7,500 to drop the truck off, but they were told the cost wasn’t even close to what it would cost to recover the truck. Police were called to the parking lot at least six times, but were told they couldn’t intervene because the tow company had filed a lawsuit against them, he said.
“They were honking their horns and using the truck arm to shake the truck, so we called the police. “The driver wanted to charge them with harassment, and the police said that wasn’t enough to file a harassment charge,” the MHT owner said. “Our legal team told us we couldn’t keep a stolen vehicle, because “We were getting it back.”
A1’s lawyer claims the driver never paid for parking and says that’s why the car was towed away.
“I’m not there, but the truck driver assaulted one of my client’s employees, told the police department he ‘wouldn’t pay anything,’ and then said, ‘My company told me to sit in my truck and see what happens.’ It happens.” “This was all captured on video,” said Darryl O’Neill, A1’s attorney.
MHT Group Inc. said: She was able to recover her truck after Tennessee forces showed up.
“We told them it was a stolen unit, and they said that’s enough,” the MHT owner said.
They said the soldiers asked A1 to dismantle the 18-wheeler and remove the trunk.
“Their lawyer showed up and started talking about the laws, but the state police stopped him and told him that’s how the law works,” MHT’s owner said. “Then they started telling us they lost the shoe key and couldn’t do anything tonight, so the state police gave my guys the authority to cut the shoe off.”
It all happened at the same truck stop where a Church Transportation driver locked herself inside a large rig for several hours three weeks ago to avoid being towed.
Shirley Holland admitted she didn’t pay the $13 parking fee, but said when she tried to pay the $275 initiation fee, she was told it was too late and they were towing the truck. Her employer had to pay $12,950 to get the car back.
Over the past year, the City of Memphis Permit Office has received more than a dozen complaints from truck drivers from across the country who say they have been illegally pulled over and towed by the A1, and last month, the city issued this statement:
Under the ordinance, if the owner or operator of a vehicle parked without permission on private property attempts to retrieve said vehicle before actually starting operation, there will be no charge, and the vehicle owner is permitted to remove the vehicle without further delay. The operating law does not specify the type of vehicle that can be operated.
The maximum amount a boot company can charge for boot removal is $50.00 according to city code. The law states that no vehicle with a trunk attached may be towed unless the vehicle owner fails to contact the towing company within 24 hours of notice. Towing fees depend on the type of wrecker used. The price for a Class C wrecker is $350.00 per hour. State vehicle ordinances.
Tow fees depend on the type of tow truck used. The price of a Class A Wrecker is $125.00, the price of a Class B Wrecker is $200.00 per hour, and the price of a Class C Wrecker is $350.00 per hour.
We have two complaints before the Transportation Committee regarding towing refunds. We have several complaints that will be discussed at an administrative hearing.
Memphis City Councilman Frank Colvet also told WREG he wants city leaders to take a hard look at the large fees that A1’s Towing & Hauling charges truck drivers towed from area truck stops.
A1 said it follows state laws that supersede city law and has filed a lawsuit against the city of Memphis, the Memphis police chief and several MPD officers, accusing them of “using a civil municipal code as a weapon to discriminate against the minority-owned company.”
The lawsuit cites several instances in which they say police officers conspired with truck drivers to fabricate charges against A1 employees to achieve the city of Memphis’ discriminatory goals.
In October, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security said the Tennessee Highway Patrol was assisting the Memphis Police Department in investigating the towing and hauling operation on the A1.
TN DHS said THP’s Criminal Investigation Division is providing assistance upon request while Memphis police look into A1’s activities but would not go into detail.
Owner MHT Group Inc. said: Even though he has his truck back, he plans to take legal action against A1’s and is talking to other trucking companies to consider doing the same.
“We’re not letting this go. There’s a big American company that I know well, and their lawyers and mine are going to work together to get something done,” the MHT owner said. “I won’t let that happen again.”
On November 21, a Memphis City Council committee is expected to discuss alleged violations of the city’s transportation and towing laws by some local businesses.