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The Daily Tar Heel

Students File Suits Against Tow Company

UNC law student Wade Hargrove claims that George's Tow and Recovery illegally towed his car from his McCauley Street home.

The suit alleges that company owner George King acted illegally by towing students' cars without the written consent of the owners of private parking spaces on and around Franklin Street.

North Carolina law states that private parking spaces must be marked in the parking space and by a 2-by-2 sign. The owner of the space must also give written consent to tow the car.

Wade Hargrove, a third-year Law School student, is one of the students who has joined in the litigation against King.

Hargrove had his car towed by King from his residence, Graham Court Condominiums on McCauley Street.

According to Hargrove, King towed his car on Feb. 10 despite having a resident tag hanging from the rearview mirror. The tag was a replacement for his resident sticker, which became invalid Feb. 15.

King has an agreement with Graham Court's management to come onto the property, but "he's not supposed to tow residents," Hargrove said. King charged $100 for towing the car and $15 for holding it until Feb. 12. Hargrove is seeking compensation for these charges.

Dottie Bernholz, director of Student Legal Services, said King and his girlfriend watch for students to park illegally and then tow their cars when they leave.

Three other students have joined the civil suit through Student Legal Services, and others have contacted SLS with complaints about King's towing practices.

Bernholz is handling the case against King. She said SLS notified King of the suit, and he has 30 days to answer their complaint. King has yet to respond or offer to settle out of court. He also refused to comment to The Daily Tar Heel.

Bernholz said one of the students involved in the suit, Jason Osborne, had assault charges brought against him by King after he shoved King in a dispute over the towing of his car. But a judge threw out the charges against Osborne, she said.

Bernholz said the charges against Osborne were unfounded. "You get a tired student who sees someone towing off their car at one in the morning, and they get a bit upset," she said.

Bernholz said students should be aware of the law with respect to parking at private businesses. "If George King or anyone is going to tow their car, (the student) should make a demand for a written request," she said. "If it's not complied with, they should call the police."

Hargrove described King's towing practices as "predatory."

"It's a complete lack of respect," he said. "He just has no civility."

The City Editor can be reached


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