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Cars Towed as North Park Toyland Parade Goes Off Amid Cancellation Confusion (CA)

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Police Chief David Nisleit hands out sticker police badges. Police Chief David Nisleit hands out sticker police badges to children along the parade route. Photo by Chris Stone

By Chris Stone and Ken Stone

Despite confusion over its fate, the 55th annual North Park Toyland Parade took place Saturday morning, attracting a reported 7,000 spectators.

Dodging the rain bullet, it proceeded east on University Avenue under cool, partly cloudy skies.

But residents who relied on social media or the official website were led to think the parade had been canceled.

Those who ignored “tow-away” signs scrambled to recover their vehicles.

Kelly Murphy of Utah Street said she heard noise outside her unit Saturday morning and thought it was a garbage truck. Going out to look, she saw tow trucks removing vehicles from Utah between University and Lincoln avenues.

She said she noticed on the parade site Friday night that the event was still canceled.

So she didn’t move her car from what became the parade’s staging area.

At 6:50 a.m., her car was gone. She said she saw “tow truck after tow truck after tow truck” taking away three cars at a time and that several dozen were removed.

She was told to check with Western Towing.

That company declined to give information. A San Diego Police Department sergeant said officers ordered no cars towed, instead suggesting removals were at the behest of city code enforcement agents — whose office was closed Saturday and unavailable for comment.

 

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