Selected reports from the Bainbridge Island Police Department blotter.
TUESDAY, DEC. 12
8:55 a.m. A confrontation resulting from a motorist refusing to pay a tow truck driver summoned police to the intersection of Highway 305 and Day Road.
Police had previously been at the scene to provide traffic control after a 19-year-old Des Moines, Washington man drove his cargo truck into a nearby ditch. He had at the time requested a tow truck to remove it for him.
The man had been driving the large truck, making package deliveries, and had asked in advance if the tow truck company would accept his boss’ credit card over the phone as payment for the tow. The company had agreed.
Police remained on the scene after the tow truck arrived to provide traffic control as the vehicle was removed.
Soon after departing, police returned as the two men, motorist and tow truck driver, were engaged an argument. The tow truck driver claimed the other man was refusing to pay for the tow. He explained he’d spoken to the other man’s boss on the phone when asking for payment and, after being told the amount, the man had attempted to negotiate a cheaper deal.
The tow truck driver was concerned that the man would simply cancel the transaction after he towed the truck, as he had refused to accept a lesser amount.
Police told the tow truck driver that the situation did not constitute “refusing to pay,” at which point the tow truck driver became “irate” and asked to speak to a superior officer, saying he was the owner of the towing company and “not just some driver.”
The tow truck driver claimed there existed a series of regulations that would allow him to impound the delivery truck for nonpayment already, and said if the Bainbridge cop was a state trooper he’d allow him to impound the vehicle.
At this point, the delivery truck driver offered to let the tow truck driver run his personal credit card as payment. It was, however, declined.
Finally, the tow truck driver allowed the delivery man’s boss to make the full payment over the phone, as originally agreed. He told the Bainbridge police he was very upset about the way they handled the situation, saying, “You know there will be repercussions for this, right?”
Police explained to the delivery man that if his boss did indeed cancel the transaction it would constitute a crime. The man said his boss would do no such thing, and that the tow truck driver was making assumptions based on his boss’ initial attempt to negotiate.