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Driver rams vehicle at tow lot: Police

Dan Morse

Picking up a car from the impound lot can be frustrating. To hear Fairfax City police tell it, though, a woman took things well past too far on Monday afternoon.

At 4:39 p.m., an employee at Henry's Wrecker Service 10401 Eaton Place called to report that after the driver had paid a towing fee, she rammed the car into another vehicle, which yielded an estimated $1,500 damage to an entrance gate.

“Apparently she was angry,” said Officer Lynn Coulter, a police spokeswoman.

Coulter said the driver was a friend of the car’s owner. No arrests were reported as of 1 p.m. today.

Things can get tense at the lots.

“I had a guy almost run me over 10 years ago,” Coulter said.

And she was in uniform.

James W. Smith, manager of the facility, declined to comment specifically on the case. But he said he understands, up to a point, why drivers get so frustrated:

“My, God yes," he said. "You come out in the morning, and your vehicle is gone. You’re expecting to go to work, and your chariot is not there.”

But he also sees people go overboard.

"I have been hit at, I've been spit at, I've had weapons pulled on me," said Smith, a 20-year veteran of the business.

Smith said he had a customer service window placed low because when people bend over, he has found, they can’t spit as well.

He also tells his employees to treat everyone walking in the door like they’d want to be treated and, when possible, use humor.

"Patience is probably 99 percent of this business," he said. "Let’s face it: How many people drive by the tow yard and say, 'Let's stop by and say hello to the tow people'? It just doesn’t happen."

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  August 31, 2010; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Fairfax  
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I can't stand these scavenging snakes. They just drive around on lots praying on the innvocent. They're lucky they don't get their wigs smoked straight back. I wouldn't even feel sorry fot not ONE of them.

Posted by: The_Funknician | August 31, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

She should have run over that car jacking scavenger!

Posted by: mossmillennium | August 31, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't feel bad if one of them got run over or smoked.

The_Funknician is right. Henry's prowls apartment complexes looking for victims.

When I lived at the Waterside Apts. in Reston (10 years ago), I was involved in an accident in New Haven, CT on my way back from Boston. I was able to get a rental car that afternoon, but by the time I got home (11 PM), the management office was closed, so I could not obtain the required parking sticker. No visitor spaces were avaialble. Parking on the street was not an option. As a precaution, I left a sign with my name, apartment number, and phone number and explained the situation (rental car after an accident)nicely asked that I not be towed.

Wouldn't you know, I came out EARLY (6:30 AM) to find the rental car gone. Sure enough, Henry's had it. I'll never forget the smug smirks and smart aleck attitudes of the people on duty at the Henry's lot. I was so disgusted, I actually spit on the money (they accepted cash only) and threw it at the clerk behind the window.

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 31, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Losers: park legally and you woudn't be saying your trash.

Posted by: dcdoug | August 31, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Tow companies have to obey the law. They cant just come onto any property and 'troll". they are hired or contracted by property owners, aka apt mngmnt or property mngmt for malls to remove vehicles that don't belong or are improperly parked. if you have an argument about being towed, complain to the person who allowed it to happen, who went out of the way to sign a contract with the tow company. dont be angry at Henrys for towing your car -anyone can and people probably do write sob notes of 'dont tow my car.' be upset at the apt complex that didnt have enough visitor parking or a way of getting a temp tag for the night. they are the ones who didnt take care of you.

Posted by: wpost456 | August 31, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

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