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Troubleshooters Update: Howard's Towing

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There is an update on a Troubleshooters report we first brought you last week. A Wilmington family called to complain about Howard's Towing. Carolina Beach Police Department called Howard's to pull Scott Brown's SUV out of a retention pond, after he had a stroke and wrecked. When the Brown’s went to retrieve the vehicle from the tow lot, Howard's refused to release it, even though they had paid in full. They took Howard's to small claims court, and won a judgment against Wayne Howard, but have yet to see a dime. Since our story aired, the Carolina Beach Police Department has put Howard's Towing on probation. The police department said if there are any more questionable incidents, Howard's will be removed from the towing rotation list all together. Howard's is still on the Wilmington Police Department's rotation list, but the WPD is investigating complaints against the company.

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Howard is still at it!

I dropped a friend off at Howard's to pick up his car that got towed at Azalea Fest. After my friend asked to inspect his car before he signed papers saying that he took responsibility for any damages I witnessed the gatekeeper put him in a choke hold. The police were called but before they came Wayne Howard arrived and proceed to curse us out. Wayne Howard proceed to try to leave the scene with gatekeeper under the pretense that they were leaving to press charges on us for attacking “a handicapped” (he didn't look disabled when he was trying to choke my friend, lets hope he doesn't claim disablity). The police arrived just as they were getting in there car to leave (I have some great video of this taken from my phone).

The Police and defused the situation. Officer Piner of the Wilmington PD did an excellent job of informing us of our rights, and the process to take action.

My friend still ended up paying the $150 to get his car back, even after he was attacked.

It is a discrace that Howard's Towing is allowed to operate. Towing services are a necessary evil for some private business and land owners, but it need to be highly regulated or predatory towing laws already on the books needs to be enforced. Tow truck drivers run rampent in this town, especially by the college. The state or county need to take a longer and deeper look into the businesses before they are given the power to legally steal cars. They need to make sure that these businesses are conducting themselves in an appropriate way, following all laws and regulations themselves.

Your friend has recourse

Your friend should go to the closest magistrate and swear out a warrant against the man that attacked him. You will need his full name, home address would be good but a work address will do. Then he can have his day in court.