Wednesday 29 May 2024

East Bay Couple's Terrifying Encounter with Tow Truck in Downtown San Francisco


An East Bay couple is speaking out about their harrowing experience when a tow truck attempted to tow them while driving through downtown San Francisco on April 9.

"We were at a stoplight and minding our own business," explained Joanne, who requested to be identified by her first name only. She described running errands with her husband that morning.

While the couple was stopped along Bush and Montgomery streets, they noticed a yellow Specialty Towing truck approaching. Initially, they thought the truck was maneuvering near a nearby Waymo autonomous vehicle. However, the situation quickly turned alarming.

"He came from the side. I thought he was turning right. He started in reverse and all the lights came on. That's when we were like, hey something's really wrong. His lever was coming down," Joanne recounted.

Video footage captured by a witness shows the tow truck making several attempts to hook onto the couple's 2017 Toyota Corolla.

A witness can be heard on video screaming "What the f**k are you doing!"

When the traffic light turned green, the Waymo vehicle next to Joanne and her husband drove off. However, the couple found themselves trapped in front of a black sedan.

"We were freaking out. The first instinct was to get away," said Joanne.

Fortunately, the black car reversed, allowing Joanne's husband to drive away. The tow truck then gave chase, pursuing them for several blocks.

"It's definitely really scary," Joanne reflected, contemplating what could have happened if the tow truck had successfully hooked onto their car.

ABC7 attempted to contact Specialty Towing via email and phone but did not receive a response.

The company, along with two others, was charged by City Attorney David Chiu in February for fraud and illegally towing parked cars. Chiu's office described Specialty Towing as "unscrupulous" in their online news release. As a result, Specialty Towing is now prohibited from bidding or receiving city contracts.

Joanne and her husband managed to lose the tow truck and safely returned home to the East Bay. They maintain they did nothing wrong and are still puzzled as to why they were targeted.

"Full disclaimer, I definitely paid off my car, I paid my registration," Joanne emphasized.

Joanne plans to file a police report soon and is sharing their story to raise awareness for other drivers.

"Be more careful when they're driving around and making sure if something doesn't look right, make sure you do your best to protect yourself," she advised.

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