After a costly run in with Mallory Towing and Recovery Inc. on Aug. 30, Christopher Bowen will be wary of parking in reserved spaces on FAMU’s campus in the future.
Bowen, a business administration student, said while flagging down a truck towing his car out of the School of Business and Industry parking lot, the truck bumped him and he still had to pay over $100 of his bill money to retrieve his car afterward.
Though the towing company denies hitting Bowen, the incident has led Student Government Associaion vice president Phillip Agnew, who witnessed the incident, to fight to prevent the company from towing on campus again.
Bowen said he knew he parked in a reserved spot and the driver towed his car legally, but said he is upset because of the “disrespectful and inconsiderate” behavior of the driver.
The 20-year-old from Monticello, Ga., said when he saw the tow truck he took off running to catch the driver before he took the car to an impound lot.
“I waved him down and he stop, but when I jogged in front (of the truck) he pulled up on the brake and the right bumper hit me and I fell and landed on my side,” Bowen said.
Bowen said he then got up and shouted for the driver to stop but the driver gave him “a gesture, like get out of the way.”
Bowen said when he walked to the driver’s window and asked him to take the car down, the driver asked for $85.
One of Bowen’s friends and Agnew, a 20-year-old junior business administration student from Chicago, arrived at the scene while Bowen and the driver were arguing, and attempted to convince the driver to lower the price.
Agnew said Bowen was “very animated,” but the driver was rude and used profanity at the students.
“Finally I just asked him (the driver) to take the car down and he said I was getting hostile and called the police over,” Bowen said.
Once the police arrived, the driver refused to take the car down because he claimed the student stopped his truck with his briefcase and dented the truck; a claim Bowen said was impossible.
Frustrated because of the situation, Bowen said he finally agreed to pay the $85 plus an additional fee the driver requested for truck damage because he wanted his car.
The student said he filed a report against the driver and the company to FAMU PD after the incident.
“I don’t want him (the driver) to do the same thing to other people,” Bowen said, “He could’ve easily just put the car down and left.”
The towing company is aware of Bowen’s story, but supports the driver and claims no responsibility for hitting the student.
Juanita, the assistant manager at the towing company who asked for her last name not to be printed, said when the police came to the scene Bowen did not mention the driver hitting him.
“Anyone who got hit would have immediately said, ‘he hit me.'” Juanita said.
“I talked to my driver and he said he did everything in his power to avoid hitting him,” she said, “He was running next to the truck and damaged it when the driver stopped and the student fell.”
“We’re not in the wrong. Unless I get a different story from FAMU PD that’s all I know.” Juanita said.
The assistant manager said she appreciates the FAMU student body’s effort in coming together because they are “awesome for supporting the student.”
Agnew said he spoke with Interim President Castell V. Bryant and FAMU PD Chief Ross after the incident. Agnew said he wants to know if FAMU has a contract with the towing company and if so to have it discontinued.
“It’s a privilege for towing companies to come to our campus,” Agnew said.
“They shouldn’t come and mistreat students,” he said.
FAMU PD could not be reached for comment.
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