MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City leaders are speaking out about Memphis towing companies suspected of abusing the city’s booting and towing ordinances.
As WREG has reported, multiple truck drivers accuse Memphis-based A1’s Towing and Hauling of illegally towing their big rigs from area truck stops and charging them thousands of dollars to retrieve their vehicles.
“Things have been tough with the trucking industry as it is, and now we got to deal with these guys demanding insane amounts of money to get them back,” said Andrew Adams, owner of Bigtrux Transportation.
Some truckers claim they’ve had to stay in their vehicles for hours to avoid being towed and they say A1’s Towing has refused to give them an “itemized” invoice for the charges.
“If it’s true, it’s reprehensible and the council will take immediate action,” City Councilman Frank Colvett said. “Nothing less, I think we need to notify the TBI and get the state and the feds involved. Nobody should be forced to stay in their vehicles for 23 hours.”
Darrell O’Neal, the attorney representing A1’s Towing, responded in an email sent to WREG on Tuesday:
“If you park on private property, and refuse to pay, what are you supposed to do? The signs state that will happen. … In downtown Memphis people are booted and towed every day for not paying for parking, but somehow outside of downtown booting and towing is illegal. My client is not doing anything different than these companies.”
For now, city leaders say they are hopeful they can put the brakes on the dispute involving booting and towing in Memphis.
“If there’s a problem with the law, that’s what you can go to the city council with. Don’t take the law into your own hands,” said Colvett, who also thanked WREG for bringing the issue to his attention.
Back in September, the City of Memphis Permits Office said they had opened an investigation into A1’s Towing after receiving nearly a dozen complaints from truck drivers in less than a year.
In the meantime, A1’s Towing and Hauling has filed a lawsuit against the City of Memphis, Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis, and multiple MPD officers claiming discrimination against a minority-owned business.
City Council was set to discuss the towing and booting ordinance during a committee meeting Tuesday afternoon. However, that agenda item was held until a future meeting.