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Tow truck driver hit car while towing vehicles (TN)

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MPD: Tow truck driver hit car while towing vehicles at Memphis truck stop


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say a driver with A1’s Towing was involved in a hit-and-run accident while towing several cars from businesses connected to a truck stop in Southeast Memphis.


According to police, at least five people had their vehicles towed away from a lot next to Pleasant Liquor and Pleasant Hookah & Cigar Lounge in the 4800 block of East Holmes on Feb. 9.


According to witnesses, one of those people was an off-duty Tennessee Highway Patrol officer.


Police say in an accident report that a tow truck struck a Hyundai Genesis in the incident and left the scene.


“The guy who showed up, I guess he was with A1’s company. He wouldn’t give us his name. He was rude about the whole situation,” said Maples. “I was just trying to find out where my car was.”


Maples’ cousin Precious Ballentine works at the businesses. She said a Tennessee state trooper who was providing security at the lounge that night tried to stop A1’s from driving off with his vehicle.


“He got his vehicle towed as well while yelling out, ‘I am a trooper. Can we at least work this out?’ There wasn’t any working it out,” said Ballentine.


Daricell Maples’ aunt and uncle own the businesses. Maples, who lives in the Knoxville area, was attending an event at the hookah bar when her car was taken.


Ballentine said the trooper and others were reaching for their door handles as their vehicles were being towed away and said an A1’s tow truck driver hit her mother’s car.


“They tried to cover the signs on the side so we couldn’t see what company they were with,” said Ballentine. “They did that immediately once they rammed my mom’s vehicle.”


The liquor store and hookah bar are in a strip mall connected to the Holmes Express gas station and truck stop. Owners said their customers have been parking all over the lot for two years with no issues.


There are signs on the lots that say no free parking for cars or trucks, but Ballentine said the signs with the word cars on them are brand new, and they were never notified about a change.


Ballentine said she recorded the cars being towed to a nearby lot before police arrived.


“They were just dumping them and pulling right back up here to tow more,” said Ballentine.


When asked about the vehicles towed, the attorney for A1’s Towing and Hauling questioned why the police were there.


“Is this a lot where it specifically states automobiles are not allowed to park? When did the Memphis Police start doing accident reports on private property?” said Darrell O’Neal.


In November, the Memphis Transportation Commission suspended A1’s Towing and Hauling’s booting and towing permits for 30 days after receiving several complaints from truck drivers who claimed they were illegally booted and towed by A1’s and charged thousands of dollars to get their semi-trucks back.


Deputy City Attorney Michael Fletcher said A1’s has since been cited for more violations and will have another hearing before the permits office.


Fletcher said the state and postal service are also investigating the towing company. He said one of the trucks they took was a postal service vehicle.



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