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Complaints against A-1’s towing escalate as cars become targets

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Complaints against A-1’s towing are beginning to escalate as the operation begins to target cars as well as semi trucks. 

The most recent incident occurred on February 9th, when at least five people has their cars towed from a lot adjacent to Pleasant Liquor and Pleasant Hookah & Cigar Lounge in the 4800 block of East Holmes in Memphis, Tennessee. 

“The guy who showed up, I guess he was with A1’s company. He wouldn’t give us his name. He was rude about the whole situation,” said Daricell Maples, whose family owns the hookah business and who was at the hookah bar when the towing began. “I was just trying to find out where my car was.”

According to WREG News, one of the people towed from the lot was an off duty police officer who was providing security for the hookah bar at the time. 

“He got his vehicle towed as well while yelling out, ‘I am a trooper. Can we at least work this out?’ There wasn’t any working it out,” said Precious Ballentine, a cousin of Maples’ who works at the business. 

Precious says that the officer had his hand on his door handle when the A-1’s truck started towing the vehicle away and ended up colliding with another parked car. 

“They were just dumping them and pulling right back up here to tow more. They tried to cover the signs on the side so we couldn’t see what company they were with,” said Ballentine. “They did that immediately once they rammed my mom’s vehicle.”

The two businesses are inside of a strip mall connected to the Holmes Express gas station and truck stop, but the owners say that their customers have been parking at the lot where they were recently towed for the last few years with no incidents. Technically, there are signs that say no free parking for cars or trucks, but the business owners say they were only recently changed to include the word ‘cars’ with no warning to the businesses. 

A-1’s was temporarily suspended from booting and towing vehicles after a rash of incidents involving semi trucks and truckers at the end of 2023, but the suspension has since ended. Even so, A-1’s has received more citations since then and is expected to have another hearing with the permits office. 

For now, the state of Tennessee and the postal service are actively investigating the towing company after a postal service vehicle was towed, and the incident outside of the hookah bar resulted in two police reports and one accident report. 

“We were told by police that it was illegal not to give us some type of warning and also illegal to be taking vehicles while people were yanking on the door,” Ballentine said.

The permits office has been instructed to create a clear set of rules for towing companies in the wake of all the complaints, but the Memphis City Council will not vote on the proposed rules until sometime in March.

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