A tow truck operator is accused of
illegally towing more than 100 vehicles during last month's Gay Days
celebration in Orlando, Florida.
Jason Combs, owner of ASP Towing, was
arrested on Friday and faces 29 counts of grand theft auto.
Orlando County Sheriffs deputies allege
Combs' company towed the vehicles from a parking lot across the
street from the event's host hotel, Doubletree.
ASAP Towing has a contract with the
owner of the parking lot. However, the contract had lapsed in May
and was not renewed until mid-June. Gay Days takes place on the
first Saturday in June.
Sentinel quoted Captain Rick
Schmeltzer as saying that ASAP Towing also targeted vehicles during
last year's Gay Days festivities and that “spotters” were used to
identify vehicles belonging to hotel guests or visitors.
many of these people, their cars were towed within 5, 10, 15 minutes
[of parking],” he said. “This was total predator towing.
There's really no other word for it.”
to the AP, Combs made at least $16,000 towing the vehicles.
attorney, R. David de Armas, said his client has nothing against gay
people or the annual event which draws thousands to central Florida.
fact that the [criminal] complaint said something about Gay Days
makes me wonder what's behind it,” he said. “If someone
shoplifted during Gay Days would the complaint mention that it
happened during Gay Days?”