Tow truck driver refuses to tow motorist over Bernie bumper sticker


“Something came over me, I think the Lord came to me, and he just said get in the truck and leave,” said Ken Shupe of Shupee Max Towing in Traveler’s Rest, S.C.. “And when I got in my truck, you know, I was so proud, because I felt like I finally drew a line in the sand and stood up for what I believed.”

Motorist Cassy McWade says she was in a car accident, and the family called their regular mechanic to drive about 45 minutes north in order to tow her home to Traveler’s Rest from the side of the Interstate. He wasn’t able to make the trip, so McWade says he called Shupe.

He arrived after about an hour and began the process of towing the vehicle.

“He goes around back and comes back and says ‘I can’t tow you.’ My first instinct was there must be something wrong with the car,” McWade told News 13 on Wednesday. “And he says, ‘No, you’re a Bernie supporter.’ And I was like wait, really? And he says, ‘Yes ma’am,’ and just walks away.”

McWade has a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker on her rear fender and a yard sign in her rear window for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Shupe , who supports presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, said his decision on the side of the interstate this week was more about business than politics.

He believes Bernie Sanders supporters are socialists, and says he’s had problems with two customers over the last six months who supported Bernie Sanders. He said they caused him problems over paying their bills.

“I’ve had some horrible experiences in the last six months with towing cars for this mindset individuals, in that I don’t get paid. They want to argue about a $50 tow bill, and it turns into just a drama and a fuss. And I said, you know, I’m not going to associate with them, and I’m not going to do any business with them,” Shupe said.

“I’m really not interested in doing business with that clientele,” he said of Sanders supporters.

“I personally don’t believe that you don’t have to agree on anything just to be kind to one another,” McWade said. “I was like, what did I do to you? You know, I do believe I try to do right by people. So I was offended, and I don’t know what exactly he thinks I would have done to him directly by being a believer in Bernie.”

McWade, 25, has psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and early-stage Crohns, which she said made sitting on the side of the road without a restroom nearby”terrifying”. She is legally disabled and says the handicapped placard was hanging on her mirror when Shupe arrived.

She also says the family mechanic informed Shupe that she was disabled.

After waiting more than an hour and a half, McWade was towed by another company.

Shupe says he did not know that McWade was disabled.

“Had she been disabled, would I have towed her car? No ma’am. I would have pulled forward and sat there with her to make sure she was OK until another wrecker service showed up to get her home safely, but I still would not have towed her car,” said Shupe. “I stand by my decision, and I would do it again today if the opportunity presented itself.”

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County Board Advertises Update to Towing Ordinance, With Some Modifications

Arlington County Board on 9/27/16The Arlington County Board on Saturday spent an hour and a half discussing changes to the county’s towing ordinance.

The Board voted to advertise a series of changes — final approval is set for next month — but not before making some alterations to the County Manager’s recommendations.

The alterations were essentially intended to prevent towing malfeasance. Among them:

  • The Board inserted a provision that requires towing companies to receive authorization from the property owner to tow a vehicle, which would apply only to non-residential properties during business hours.
  • The Board kept the current requirement that tow truck drivers photograph the condition of a vehicle before towing it, and added a requirement that tow companies notify those who have been towed that they may view the photos upon request.
  • While the County Manager recommended language stipulating that tow companies must notify police of a tow within 10 minutes, rather than “immediately,” as currently worded, the Board gave itself the option of requiring police notification prior to a tow.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce objected to the authorization requirement — also referred to as a “second signature” — on the grounds that it could cost businesses more time and money to remove trespassers who park on their lots.

A towing standoff outside Ray's Hell BurgerThe Chamber sent a letter to the Board expressing its “vehement opposition” to the requirement. Chamber President and CEO Kate Bates also spoke at the meeting.

“Nobody likes it when their car is towed but that is not justification for putting significant burden on property owners,” said Bates.

County Board Vice Chair Jay Fisette proposed the addition of the second signature requirement. It passed, but with at least two County Board members saying they were unlikely to support it when a final vote is taken next month.

Fisette said that the low number of formal complaints against towing companies — there were 87 towing complaints and seven violations recorded by the county in 2015 — does not reflect the reality of widespread disdain for so-called “predatory towing” practices in Arlington.

As evidence, Fisette cited an poll from last year in which 84 percent of respondents — nearly 2,300 people — said towing companies in Arlington were more predatory in their conduct than “just doing their job” for local businesses.

“It’s actually refreshing to have the Vice Chair cite an ARLnow poll,” said Board member John Vihstadt, to laughter in the County Board room.

Fisette also cited an opinion column that recounted someone being towed from the former Taco Bell lot on Wilson Blvd in 2000 while eating at the restaurant — because a spotter saw him walk next door to get cash from an ATM.

A resident who spoke at the Board meeting agreed with Fisette’s assessment of towing practices.

“Many mom and pop restaurants are being harmed by aggressive and predatory towing… it’s driving business away,” said Sarah McKinley, a towing critic and the vice president of the Columbia Heights Civic Association. “A second signature creates a balance and gives retail owners some control over this situation so they aren’t so damaged.”

The Chamber, however, said towing companies provide a valuable service to local businesses. The Chamber supported the County Manager’s original proposal, which it described as a “compromise.”

“We… emphasize our vehement opposition to the addition of a second signature requirement for the removal of illegally parked vehicles or the prohibition of parking ‘spotters’ to monitor parking areas,” the Chamber wrote in its letter to the Board.

“The addition of either would present significant administrative and cost burdens to implement and would deteriorate the level of service provided by towing contractors to local businesses who must keep parking areas clear and available to their employees, visitors and customers to remain financially viable,” the letter said. “We appreciate the steps the County has been working towards to make Arlington a more business friendly community, and urge extreme caution to the Board in exploring proposals that would shift things in the opposite direction.”

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John Martins Classic Cars and Tow Truck Show coming

PAWTUCKET – The John Martins Foundation proudly presents the “First Annual John Martins Classic Cars and Tow Truck Show” on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds of McCoy Stadium. The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 14.

The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

It will feature a combination of classic cars and tow trucks for all car enthusiasts or anyone who would like to simply enjoy a day of remembrance with family and friends in honor of John Martins.

Other activities include food trucks, music, face painting, balloon artists, fingerprinting, “Best of Show” awards, prize giveaways and raffles with a special appearance by former NFL Indianapolis Colts player Jamie Silva signing autographs.

All proceeds and donations to benefit the John Martins Foundation to help support burn victims.

The John Martins Burn Foundation is a nonprofit founded in memory of Rhode Island businessman John Martins, “a kind, generous and charitable man admired by many because of his ethics,” states a release. Martins believed that, with hard work and determination, dreams can become a reality.

On Sept. 4, 2015, Martins was driving a tow truck back from a job when he lost control of his vehicle, which plunged down an embankment and burst into flames. Doctors did not expect he would survive his extensive injuries more than 72 hours, but Martins “fought valiantly for his life “for the next 23 days before succumbing to his injuries.

His grief-stricken family created the nonprofit organization in his honor to benefit other burn victims.

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Tow truck catches fire downtown

A tow truck caught fire Saturday night at the Four Corners intersection in downtown Rochester, though no injuries resulted.

According to the Rochester Police Department, the tow truck was traveling east on Main Street with a red four-door sedan hooked up. Apparently, electrical issues sparked a fire at the intersection, where East and West Main streets, State Street and Exchange Boulevard meet.

The Rochester Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire.

A Department of Transportation pole at one corner was damaged.

No further update is expected Sunday.

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Tow truck drivers to motorists: Move over

It was another dangerous few days for tow truck drivers on Twin Cities roadways this Memorial Day weekend.

Tow truck driver Troy Mechura captured video of drivers not moving over despite a Minnesota law that requires drivers to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles.

Tow truck drivers say it’s nothing new and only getting worse.

“I had a semi that literally took my hat right off and sent it down the freeway,” Mechura said.

Tow truck drivers say commuters are often distracted or worse yet, don’t know the law. The space the law seeks to provide can be the difference between life and death and Mechura hopes that, through advocacy, this growing problem can be fixed.

“My life is worth something, everybody’s life is worth something, you can not put a price tag on it,” Mechura said.

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Tow truck and boat go under water at Cherry Creek Reservoir

A tow truck and the boat it was towing is out of the water after getting submerged at Cherry Creek Reservoir Sunday afternoon.

South Metro Fire Rescue crews and a dive team responded to the west boat ramp at the reservoir to pull the truck and boat out.

Crews say the truck was stuck in ground material.

Divers used an airbag to try to lift the truck up so it could be pulled out.

The first attempt to pull the truck out did not work.

First attempt at pulling the truck out was unsuccessful. Taking another airbag under and reattaching a tow cable.

Crews used a second airbag under the truck and were able to float the truck above the water just enough to pull it out with tow cables.

No one was injured and no rescues had to be made.There is no word yet on what caused the truck to go under water.

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Gone in 60 seconds!

Many drivers have been tempted to ignore the warning signs about parking restrictions at airport drop-off zones in order to wave their loved ones off.

But a new video has highlighted just how quickly that decision could leave you stranded and out of pocket.

Amazing footage shows a tow truck at what is thought to be a Turkish airport scooping up a car and taking it away in under a minute.

A YouTube video shows a car at departures in a Turkish airport being towed in under a minute

A YouTube video shows a car at departures in a Turkish airport being towed in under a minute

The white vehicle was removed by the tow truck for being unmanned

The white vehicle was removed by the tow truck for being unmanned.

Tow truck scoops up cars left at airport drop off point

The video, which has been viewed more than half a million times on YouTube, shows a pick-up truck that reportedly polices the departures zone every five minutes.

As the car is parked without a driver, the truck immediately confiscates the vehicle.

The speed of the manoeuvre is lightning quick. The tow truck parks up next to the car, lowers two metal arms and lifts the car onto its rear – and begins to move off with just under 60 seconds on the clock.

Turkish airport security is especially vigilant at the moment because of a series of terror attacks in the country.

In June, three suicide bombers hit Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, which killed 41 people and left 239 people injured.

The speed of the manoeuvre is lightning quick - with the car being removed from the spot in under a minute 

The speed of the manoeuvre is lightning quick – with the car being removed from the spot in under a minute

Turkish airport security is especially vigilant at the moment because of a series of terror attacks in the country 

Turkish airport security is especially vigilant at the moment because of a series of terror attacks in the country

The extremists sprayed bullets into crowds of terrified passengers and security personnel before blowing themselves up.

Footage showed an explosion at the door to the arrivals hall by a suicide bomber before another two attackers sneaked into the building and detonated their devices.

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