Viewer calls 12, claims tow company damaged car

Viewer calls 12, claims tow company damaged car

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A tow truck nightmare started when a Richmond man loaned his car to a friend who parked it illegally in a bank's parking lot. The car was towed, but the car's owner says it was also damaged in the process.

That kicked off a week-long dispute over who damaged the car and who should pay to repair it.

Until a few hours ago, the company said it was still investigating and it would probably not fix the car. All that changed around 3 p.m. Tuesday. Seibert's Towing is now repairing Preston Brown's car.

A look under the 2005 Chrysler 300 shows a snapped bar that holds the tire to the car. The wheel is on its side. It looks like a fresh break. Preston Brown owns the car and says, "I couldn't believe it. I was shocked. I was more disappointed and shocked when they tried to deny it."

Seibert's Towing denied breaking the wheel, and so did Brown's friend, who was driving the car before it was towed from Premiere bank's parking lot.

"I talked to the tow truck driver that towed the car, and he was like, 'somebody must have hit your car before I towed it.,'" said Brown. "Don't tell me somebody hit the car and there's no dents."

NBC12 Investigates set out to find witnesses. Business owner Barksdale Haggins has a store across from the bank parking lot and told us what he saw.

Diane Walker: "You were standing in that doorway?"

Haggins: "I saw him when he drove up."

Walker: "What did the car look like? Was it damaged?"

Haggins: "No, it wasn't damaged. They broke the man's car. He couldn't tow it from the front, so he picked it up from the rear, and when he dragged it, he broke those front wheels on the car."

Walker: "That's what you think happened?"

Haggins: "Ain't no 'think' happened. I know that's what happened. I know good and well that's what happened."

Seibert's Tow company stopped me in mid-sentence as we tried to get their General Manager's account.

Melvin Lawson: "Could you not film please?

Walker: "Come on and talk to us about Preston Brown's car."

Lawson: "There's no filming allowed on the property please."

We shut down the camera. Seibert's said it was waiting for surveillance video from the bank and the company said it had information I wasn't aware of.

Our next stop: Premiere Bank. The President wouldn't give NBC12 a copy, but our Special Projects Producer was allowed to watch the surveillance footage and said the car drives up and parks without a problem. It seems to rock as it's loaded on the flatbed, but you can't see the damaged wheel from the camera angle.

"He didn't know how to tow the car and he towed it wrong," said Haggins. "The front wheels were locked."

Soon after my last call back to Seibert's General Manager Tuesday evening, I got an email from Brown. Seibert's picked up his damaged car and will pay for a rental car.  But now, this new view of the car shows both wheels broken.

"12 is where it's happening," said Brown. "They get to the bottom of an issue, and they pursue it, and they get results."

Seibert's Towing said in a voice message it will repair the car. It also says the tow driver did everything he should have. Seibert's said the damage is not consistent to towing. The General Manager added one part of the vehicle is broken, which he says the tow driver never connected to. We plan to follow up after Seibert's Towing repairs the car.

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