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Posted on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

Tow truck driver shot in foot by gunman who didn't have parking permit

By Kyle Feldscher

A tow truck driver was shot in the foot early Tuesday by a man who was upset that his vehicle had been towed from an apartment complex because he didn't have a parking permit, police said.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Derrick Jackson said deputies responded to a call of shots fired at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 9000 block of MacArthur Boulevard.

Police found that a 31-year-old Ypsilanti Township resident and employee of Discount Towing had been struck once in the foot and the suspect had fled, Jackson said.

Deputies had responded to the area earlier in the night while the employees were towing the suspect's car, Jackson said. The suspect did not have a parking pass for the complex and was upset that his car was being towed, Jackson said.

"Tow truck drivers get this all the time," Jackson said. "It's common practice for them to quickly call us before things escalate."

It wasn't until the employees came back to the complex to check if there were any other cars that needed to be taken from the area that trouble started, Jackson said.

According to Jackson, when police went to the scene earlier, the situation had calmed down and the suspect went back inside while the drivers towed his car and deputies left the area. The employees returned, and while they were leaving, three shots were fired at the vehicle, Jackson said.

The suspect was arrested hours later, Jackson said. The 25-year-old Superior Township man was lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail, where he is waiting to be arraigned on charges, Jackson said.

There was no one immediately available at Discount Towing on Tuesday evening to comment on the shooting.

A Nixle alert to the community regarding the shooting was issued by the sheriff’s office Tuesday evening.

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Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:16 a.m.

My car was towed two weeks ago from there from a visitors spot. And when I called they were closed within ten min. of him pulling off so I had to wait until the morning . They charged me $275.00 to release it but noone asked to see any proff of insurance. (Oh and when I explained to the lady I know how much they tow cars out there and I make sure I park in a visitors spot. she told me the driver had a picture of the spot and it was not a visitors spot but noone could supply me with the picture.)


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

They only ask for proof of insurance if it is has a hold on it from law enforcement. Your tow was a private or contract tow, no police involved. Tow companies are not law enforcement!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.

Like I said SHADY tactics


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:14 a.m.

Pretty amusing that all the vilification and attacks are allowed to stand against legal actions and a legal trade. Stereotypes much? Not PC much? Don't want to be towed? Follow the rules of the property owners. We're contemplating these services in our community for the same reasons noted. - the horse is out of the barn. I'll not be changing my screen name especially when shenanigans such as this are allowed.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

This should not be such of a big deal, If you don't have a parking permit, DON'T park there. (especially if one pays to park with a permit). It's simple, just don't park where not permitted!


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

The tow truck drivers and companies that do this kind of towing are leeches. Give the driver $50 and he'll unhitch your car and pocket the money.

Wilford John Presler IV

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

HMM I own a tow truck company I am also a volunteer firefighter I am also a volunteer medical first responder I volunteer for the local Community Emergency Response Team In my SPARE TIME I volunteer for the American Red Cross as a Disaster Action Team member and am a Disaster Frontline Supervisor for National Disasters What do you do in your "Spare Time"


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

All tow truck companies are dishonest!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 9:18 a.m.

Park in a visitors spot

Wilford John Presler IV

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

1) If he was at an apartment he is on private property 2) The property owner has a reasonable expectation that TENANTS comply with parking orders 3)The auto owner was parked in an unauthorized space 4) The tow truck company is under contract to enforce compliance 5) This tow truck operator is in a tow truck that costs upwards of $100,000, with at least $1,000,000 Liability insurance, carrier insurance,business insurance, MPSC Licensing, employee wages, compensation,insurance, TAXES$ TAXES$ TAXES$$$ He operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Helping stranded motorists,changing tires in the rain,crawling in snowfilled muddy ditches to facilitate a recovery extraction,cleaning up after a fatal accident,taking crap from drunk drivers who want to vent (but not on the Police Officer that arrested them) It not all illegally parked cars but that is part of the business...but it is a business... 6) That means he is in business to make a PROFIT.... 7)If he does not enforce parking compliance aggressively for the property owner there are other towing companies that will (look in the yellow pages) As for the driver who charged the auto owner the towing fee and then let the car remain in an unauthorized space. If he was working for my company and I was informed of this he would be filling out employment applications at my competitors shop.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

So since you are so experienced answer this. Do towing scams happen yes or no?


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 6 p.m.

Tow truck companies are some of the slimiest crooked companies there ever were!


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 9:40 p.m.

Atta boy Wil...great response! Thanks for serving your community! Nothin' slimy or crooked from what you write. Maybe someone "won't mention name" likes to illegally park and gets towed quite a bit? LOL!!!

Wilford John Presler IV

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

HMM I own a tow truck company I am also a volunteer firefighter I am also a volunteer medical first responder I volunteer for the local Community Emergency Response Team In my SPARE TIME I volunteer for the American Red Cross as a Disaster Action Team member and am a Disaster Frontline Supervisor for National Disasters What do you do in your "Spare Time"


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

I call a tow truck on average of twice a month to have cars towed from my parking space...they typical response is "but I've only been here 15 minutes"...when I've been sitting in my car 45 minutes waiting to park and go home and have dinner. I have private parking and there are more than 10 signs posted...but in this area of entitlement, everyone thinks they have the right to park free. That PAID private spot is my driveway...people just don't get it.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

There need to be more education and training to help towers in these crisis situation. Too many times they are thrown into some dangerous arenas People do not realize how dangerous towing is. I wrote an article that was published in American Towman on the lack of regulations to prevent gun battles and shootouts for the tower. Here is the link <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;backgroundColor=%23222222</a> -carhauler <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

Many years ago, I worked for a company that enforced parking lots in this manner. Our typical clients were small businesses and supermarkets. People would routinely park on their property and shop elsewhere. My job was to boot the cars of anyone that parked on the lot, and left the property. When they returned, that would have to pay a few to have the boot removed, or face having their car towed. Every one of the cars owners thought it was extortion, that the signs were to small(even when they parked right under them), and that it wasn't fair. They were all &quot;just going to be a minute&quot; (even when I waited an hour for them to come back). There were plenty of hardship stories too. One other thing they all had in common? They all parked where there was a sign telling them they couldn't. The sign clearly told them their car could be booted and towed if they did. Then, they felt they were getting picked on when I showed up.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

There you have it... there is always an excuse for not following the rules...sometimes when you gotta pay.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Ghost is absolutely correct. We've had a similar experience where a tow truck driver was patrolling like a cop to catch someone in a lot. They towed my step-son's car and charged him like $300. We called later to ask about having a car towed from a similar location and they quoted us a price of about $50. The whole thing was absurd and abusive. (small partially hidden sign, car was there for all of 5 minutes, the whole thing). There are three issues here: 1) its money, guns are a terrible choice to solve this. That being said, the tow truck drivers may be &quot;right&quot; but Rich Kinsey can be quoted here: &quot;There is such a thing as dead right&quot;. 2) when you have tow truck drivers acting as rule/law enforcement without the integrity of an honest system, the proper training and proper equipment, there is going to be violence. Car's are very valuable. Tow truck drivers just shouldn't be in enforcement of anykind. Landlords that are that worried should hire (maybe even go in toghether) properly trained and equiped people for this. 3) THIS IS A SCAM - abusive, lacking integrity, no due process and not way to fight it. They take your car and hold it for ransom/as blackmail.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

This requires the time &amp; talent of an investigation not by the paper; but by the authorities. As the law is written the police hace to support the scam. Pressure needs to be put on the State legislators to correct the opportunity. As an owner of condo many have bans on street parking. Without refinement they also open the door to abuse. Certainly that was not the intent; but, sorry, it does open the door. Many will not recognise the importance of this scam until the un-reasonableness costs them $275.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 5:29 a.m.

I'm sorry to read about the gun violence and shooting is not the correct way to solve your towing problem. However I do think some tow trucks do just go looking for cars with out permits and do &quot;extort&quot; cash. Yes they have a contract with the complex to tow 24 -7 and yes they do tow day or night...easy money for them I can see towing a car that might be blocking a parking spot in a over crowed lot, but these guys will tow you even if no other cars are around. I would like to see them at least put a warning tag on the car and give a person a chance to move Yes I also got my car towed from an empty lot on a Sunday night at 11:30 PM I guess I missed the Visitor parking spot by one space. Went to help my 91 year old father who fell out of his wheel chair. I was only in the apartment for 15 minutes and my car was towed. and yes they would let me have my car back if i paid $250 or more in cash that night So I'm stranded in a empty lot no car no money no way to get to the bank cash machine and yes I'm getting mad. Oh I got the car back late the next day and even had to pay more, lets see the State has to get a share because they have to fill out the abandoned car form....Hey it's all a big rip off!!


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

out of curiosity would you have called it &quot;knife violence&quot; if the driver was stabbed instead? How about &quot;vehicle violence&quot; if the perp tried to run him over? Or plain &quot;fist violence&quot; if a beat down ensued?


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 3:13 a.m.

Kyle It would be a very good service to the community if you would do some investigating into the kind of scam Edward R Murrow's Ghost described! This practice is as ERMG said legalized extortion!


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

I'm guessing the shooter didn't have a CCW permit either.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

I'm guessing that had the towtruck driver had a CPL this story would have an entirely different ending.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 12:47 a.m.

Let me preface this--just so that there is no confusion on the topic--what follows is not meant to justify what the alleged shooter did, But, that said, this is a scam, pure and simple. The son of a good friend had his car booted up and ready to be towed at 130AM a couple of months ago when he was visting a friend at an apartment complex in Ypsi. The son called his father and told him it would cost $150 if the car was not towed, and $275 if the car got towed. The father dragged himself out of bed (the son didn't carry that kind of money, and the driver would not take plastic) got the money out of a cash machine, and paid the tow truck driver. Then, as he was leaving (and it was a Discount Towing truck) the driver told his son that he wasn't coming back to that lot for the night and he could leave his car parked there. In other words, this was not about clearing out spots in a parking lot. This was about the leagalized confiscation of someone's property and then extorting money from them. Time for the state to crack down on this kind of &quot;entrepreneurship&quot;. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

Usual Suspect You are making an assumption that he did not live there. If you don't recognize a scam right in front of you then you better hold onto your wallet!

Usual Suspect

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Actually, my point obviously went way over your head. When you venture onto private property, such as an apartment complex, you agree to play by the owner's rules.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

@ Usual Suspect Looks like the real point of ERMG went over your head!

Usual Suspect

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

If you can't pay the fine, don't do the crime.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 8:16 a.m.

Right on target with this, Ed.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 4:16 a.m.

Call the Department of Attorney General Consumer Protection Dvision.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 3:09 a.m.

ERMG Could not agree more. Does not justify shooting but this type of scam is happening more and more.

crabbie mike

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

Discount Tire?

Paula Gardner

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 12:33 a.m.

Towing. Corrected. Thanks!