An Arlington, Virginia man is fighting a towing company after he says his car was damaged while it was towed mistakenly.
Cody Chance said Advanced Towing caused $1,200 damage to his car as they towed it -- even though he was parked in a spot designated for the business where he works, and had a parking permit for that business.
Chance has been working for a new brewing company that's opening soon in Arlington's Clarendon neighborhood. Chance said it's taken months of hard work and late nights.
One of those late nights was last Friday, when Chance wasn't ready to head home until 1 a.m. When he tried to leave, he discovered his car was gone.
"I came back after testing out our sound system equipment and my car had been towed," Chance said.
The signs say permitted parking only -- but Chance did have a parking pass on his car window. The garage management company told Advanced Towing, and the company didn't charge him for the tow.
"So I didn't have to pay for anything at that point, but once I had gotten to Advanced Towing, I noticed that my car had been damaged and the Advanced Towing representative there refused to even acknowledge that it was a possibility that they had done it," Chance said.
"None of it was there before Friday," he said, which Advanced Towing disputes.
The towing company said the nature of the damage isn't consistent with hitting a column in the garage or due to the car being towed. The company also said there were black marks on the column before Chance's car was towed, meaning that his car could not have caused those marks when it was towed out of the space.
Chance said Advanced Towing took photos of the car before they towed it, but he said they wouldn't give him good-quality versions of the images.
"If I could get those pictures and compare them with the ones that I took when I picked up the car, I might be able to prove they did the damage," he said. "But at this point it’s just my word against theirs."
Advance Towing disputed Chance's claims, saying the scratches were there before his car was towed. They also sent News4 a small image of Chance's car in the garage.
The company was in the news earlier this year after ESPN reporter Britt McHenry was caught on video berating an Advanced Towing employee after McHenry's car was towed.
News4 has covered several stories on complaints against the company, and for that reason, Chance said his fight is not over.
Read the full statement from Advance Towing below:
The claims made are baseless.
The implementation date of use of special parking decals and spaces by the Beer Garden was to be coordinated to the building by the Beer Garden and was not. This was confirmed by building management. So, to be clear, the cause of towing of Mr. Chance's BMW was not due to any error on the part of the towing company or the building. Claim 1 is false.
The claim Mr. Chance makes on his Facebook page about communication from the building about Beer Garden use of the spaces before towing occurred is also false. Communication was not received from the Beer Garden by the building, nor the towing company until after towing occurred. His claim is a distortion of facts.
Second, the damage alleged by Mr. Chance is not consistent with claims he has made on video and his Facebook page. Mr. Chance claims on video (when reclaiming his vehicle) that because he saw Black marks on a column near the space his vehicle was towed from leading him to speculated his car must have been damaged by contact with the column. He also claims damage to the front undercarriage. The claims are baseless for several reasons. Attached is a photo of the his car and the column prior to being towed. The photos shows the column has Black marks from vehicles striking the column prior to his vehicle being towed. The photo also shows the front passenger side undercarriage of his car has thing hanging from it form apparent prior contact with an object. The damage and scratches claimed vary in nature, location and are not consistent with his claims of how damage occurred. Claims of damage to the undercarriage and claims relative to the marks that previously existed on the column are from his vehicle when being towed are false.
The photo of a scratch or gouge on the rear of the driver side bumper shows it is recessed from other parts of body panels that project further outward. This is important because if the car struck a column as he claims the column is concrete and completely vertical. If contact with the soft metal and plastic of his car occurred with a vertical concrete column it would have created a significant indentation without gaps between the damage. The low portion of the bumper could not have contacted the column as pictured without creating more scratches or indentations above its location.
The hairline scratches flowing in varied directions in the photo he provided are also not consistent with contacting a vertical concrete column but are consistent with contacting shrubs, bushes, tree branches, automated car wash brushes or spindles. There are no shrubs, bushes, trees or automated car wash brushes that could or would have contacted the car during towing.
Forensically, the nature of all damage claimed is not consistent with contacting a column or due to towing. On that basis all damage claims are false. When cars are listed for towing if body damage were to occur as a result of contact marks would be at a consistent, certain angle of lift which they are not. The hairline scratches over the wheel well, in addition to being inconsistent with column contact, clearly have dirt over them indicating they occurred prior to towing. The photos he provided show many hairline scratches in the the paint of his 11 year old vehicle in addition to other, obvious damage that existed before his car was towed.
When Mr. Chance arrived he made comments on video about damage prior to seeing his vehicle. Mr. Chance seemed of the mindset of being determined to find damage from towing even if none existed.
In summary, Mr. Chance's car was towed because the Beer Garden had not notified the building use of special permits or spaces had been implemented. The damage Mr. Chance claims is the result of towing is debunked by photos taken before towing occurred, his own statements and the damage nature.