Here is the police report of the incident Thursday night at Abbey Court Condominiums. Read more about this story in Saturday's News & Observer.
0810058 Society VICTIM of Disturbance (C), at 501 Jones Ferry Rd, Carrboro, NC, between 21:47, 07/24/2008 and 21:48, 07/24/2008. Reported: 07/24/2008.
LW WARD, B.
On Thursday, July 24, 2008 at approximately 2148 hours I responded to building S at Abbey Court in reference to a dispute involving a tow truck driver. Orange Central Communications reported that there was a large crowd in the area. When I arrived there were approximately fifty people nearby. I saw a Chandler`s Towing tow truck with the winch cable attached to a white Nissan Sentra.
The tow truck driver, Dale Austin, stated that he was attempting to tow the Nissan for not having a parking sticker when the owner ran up to the car, opened the driver`s door and put a baby in the back seat. Austin stated that he had already started winching the Nissan backwards towards his tow truck when the subject opened the door to the Nissan. Austin stated that he stopped winching the Nissan when he heard and saw the driver`s door of the Nissan being pulled back because it was up against a GMC Yukon parked in the next space. The security guard at Abbey Court, Paul Latorre, gave the same account as Austin.
The owner of the Nissan, Saul Vargas Barroso, stated that he came to Abbey Court to visit a friend and he didn`t know that he wasn`t supposed to park outside of the building. Vargas claimed that the tow truck driver had not attached the cable
before he put his baby in the car. Witness Alfonso Hernandez gave the same account as Austin and Latorre. Hernandez stated that the tow truck driver had already attached the cable to the car before Vargas came outside and put the baby in the back seat. Hernandez stated that the tow truck driver told a crowd last week that if they got to the car before he towed it then they would be fine.
The driver`s door of the Nissan was damaged when it was bent backwards. The passenger side of the GMC Yukon sustained a dent. The owner of the Yukon, Juan Martinez, wanted to know who would pay for the damages. I told him that it was a civil matter and based on witness statements it appeared that the tow truck driver had already started winching the Nissan before Vargas opened the car door.
I referred Martinez to civil court and to his insurance company.
Vargas paid Austin the towing fee ($100) and Austin unhooked the car and left the area. About an hour after I took the report Latorre reported that a female in the crowd inititally tried to keep Austin from towing the car by pushing him. Her identity is unknown.