Violence is certainly way up in repo work and it is nothing new that a car gets picked up that has been destroyed by an unhappy debtor but the new trend seems to be to destroy the car while it’s being picked up. The following is a video and article from the South Carolina news source. Here is what they had to say:
WNEM TV 5
After an Upstate tow truck driver said he was bitten while repossessing an SUV, he pulled out his camera and started filming as the woman smashed the windows out of the vehicle.
Scotty Fowler, the owner of Mission Towing & Recovery, said they had been looking for an SUV for repossession for over a week before they located it near Collins Park in the city of Spartanburg on Sunday evening.
Fowler told FOX Carolina’s Adrian Acosta they hooked up the SUV to the tow truck when Lakeisha Smith, 29, jumped in and tried to drive off with it still hooked up to the tow truck, and attacked him.
“I was holding the door open to keep her from starting the car and she bit me,” Fowler said.
At that point, Fowler began recording the incident with his phone.
In the video, the woman can be seen first pulling the SUV loose from the tow truck with two wheels off the ground then smashing the cars windows.
Fowler said Smith left the scene on foot before police could arrive. He said she was bloody from the incident.
A Spartanburg County deputy arrived at the scene after Fowler was bitten, but did not apprehend the woman.
Fowler said, besides the damage to the SUV, there was also thousands of dollars worth of damage to his tow truck.
Fowler said they were eventually able to repossess the truck.
Smith spoke with FOX Carolina Monday evening and said she “flipped out” when Fowler tried to tow her car.
“I went out to retrieve my things out of the car and as soon as I touched my car, I was being yanked and pulled by the driver, so then I became angry and just flipped out, like seriously,” Smith said.
Spartanburg police said Smith was wanted on a charge of assault and battery third-degree for biting Fowler. Smith said on Monday night she would turn herself in.
“I’m not going to run, I’m not going to look over my shoulder for a cop, it’s not what I do,” she said.
Online jail records show Smith was booked into the county jail about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday. A judge gave her a $2,130 personal recognizance bond.
When asked by reporter Adrian Acosta why the Spartanburg County deputy didn’t act, Lt. Tony Ivey with the sheriff’s office sent the following statement:
“Based solely on the actions shown on the video you sent me I see a repossession taking place which is a civil matter and not a criminal matter. The actions of the woman in the vehicle are alarming but she has not tried to assault anyone and she is not yelling or screaming profanities in public. She breaks out many of the windows of the vehicle but the question that is not clear is at what point did it stop being her vehicle, which she has a right to do with as she pleases, and becomes the property of the bank or finance company that is repossessing it? The deputy must not have felt that the vehicle was no longer her property and chose not to intervene.”