Predatory Towing Leads to Spartanburg, SC Single Parent Getting Fired, Facing Homelessness

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Coles Towing & Recovery, a predatory Towing company says it will not pull out of a low income, rent restricted housing community of predominantly black residents until he nets the $180.000 he forecasts himself taking out of the Hood, as he referred to the relatively new property in one email provided to Fesaad Magazine from the watch group, IATD.  the residents are mostly elderly, disabled, and single women.  Residents sat he uses racial slurs often, calling them monkeys if they warn their neighbors they are hooking up their cars.

They try to intimidate us seniors by filming us, our cars, and  by placing their hand on their visible guns and speaking to us as if they are less than..” .complained, Polly Booker, the woman who started the push back by getting the two neighboring complexes together to sign petitions and present to management.

FeSaad Magazine has learned that the advocacy group I Am the Discarded has asked the South Carolina Attorney General, Alan McCrory Wilson, the  ACLU & others to investigate Guardian Assets Realty’s Management and the towing company it hired for a scheme that often leaves victims facing homelessness and the real possibility job loss.  In a very interesting turn of events, the group that has written scathing articles against the NAACP and at one point called for the IRS to revoke their non-profit status, are now petitioning HUD to deny income restriction housing properties the very valuable tax credit should they allow predatory towers to patrol their properties.

FeSaad spoke to a young single parent who fears reprisals was towed in Mid May of 2017.  She did not receive a written notice from Cole’s containing information about where and how she could recover her vehicle.  Finally, she turned to the leasing office who is allegedly a close relative of Chris Cole, (Sister in law) we’ve been told,  it was then learned her vehicle had been towed.  For days they prevented her from retrieving her vehicle by saying they only give out appointments, but none were available.  Imagine how much more than can make per vehicle by stalling the pick up by a few days.  Once you finally get an appointment, they will also charge a hefty cancellation fee if you are one minute late.  This happens often because while tenants may be there to pick up their cars, they often wait for a police escort because the office staff has such nasty dispositions,  we’re told.

They also towed another single parent twice in the same week, and she now struggles to pay rent. IATD rep says unleashing predatory towers on income restricted properties defeats the purpose if you set them up by allowing them to be financially raped repeatedly. While some may say they should park correctly, or have their registrations in order, please understand, they do.

However, Morman says when you are dealing with unscrupulous towing companies who come over in the morning like a thief in the night, lift your car over a line, capture an image, then proceed to tow it you must take drastic measures. It’s not that these people aren’t parking legally, or registering their vehicles.  These people aren’t reimbursed if you later prove to them your vehicle was registered all along. Residents say they also peel your sticker off.   It is appalling how they have gotten away with this for as long as they have.  Tenants ran out and invested in plastic license plate covering to reduce tampering. One towing resulted in resident recently released from the hospital for tumors, being re hospitalized due to a stroke. Residents say they have cell phone footage of tampering.

In the past, Cole was charged with 25 counts of miscellaneous criminal offense illegally towing vehicle Greenville County Ordinance 4278. He was also charged with eight counts of blackmail or extortion, five counts of grand larceny value more than $2,000 but less than $10,000, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of pointing and presenting a firearm at a person.

The Solicitor’s Office said charges against Cole were dismissed by their agency. However, there is no reason provided as to why the charges were dropped as in the lack of evidence or what have you. Guess we simply must ponder, what prompted the dismissal as our office left several messages for W. Walter Wilkins with Office of the Solicitor which have gone unanswered.

When asked if all of these accusations are on record, why hasn’t Chris Cole been arrested for theft,  vehicle tampering and illegal towing?

“I ask the same thing.  He has essentially mocked the Spartanburg Sherrieff who stated that Cole must Cease and Desist from towing on Willis Trace and Willow Crossing but in the face of that, he continues. In a text the manager did ask him to pull his signs down, but his response was no, he had a contract and stood to make $180.000 there within the next six months.

“The complex in question, Wills Trace, and Willow Crossing Apartments failed epically here. Not only have they admitted that they did not research Cole Towing before allowing he and his posse to harass, belittle and commit them to financial ruin,” said Vanessa Morman, one of the IATD reps.

When asked if she suspects kickbacks are involved, she said, “While I can’t be certain what’s at play, I can say in reviewing some of the text messages and emails, something out of the ordinary is definitely going on because there is talk of, “you’re going to get us both in trouble, Cole warns Kim Gillespie, the property manager.”

She added, “A very curious thing to me is that Kim Gillespie failed to have the contract annulled although she claims Chris Cole altered the contract post signatures. She says he checked a number of items she wanted him to do like tow a vehicle for fodder or having trash or food items in the car. Admittedly, I can see the difference in the ink used in that section of the contract.  My question is, some of the other clauses in the contract as well as certain omissions should have prevented a seasoned property manager from entering to the agreement in the first place. Especially the indemnification clause. Who would agree to him running a muck at your expense?”

What made you take on this issue? “Thes people could have had a tenant meeting well before this,  even at the onset, knowing that folks on fixed incomes are generally in a perpetual survival or struggling mode, yet well before trying assigned parking spots, they brought an armed force of bigots who the tenants live in fear of.  He enjoys robbing these people under the guise of  ‘towing.and knowing all about predatory towing in general, now they’ve added a brutal gun tooting bully to harass a segment of society there, that mostly consist of single black women, seniors, disabled, or both, and also single parents.  They even harassed the son of one mother, a young military officer by chasing him down the highway, which made him call the cops who intercepted the chase. When a young black male is in fear of his life enough to call the cops in is very telling.  On top of that, they lied and said the young black man had a gun, that alone could have resulted in his death at the hands of the cops. No gun was found on his person or in his vehicle. Why are they chasing someone they believe has a gun. They are Cole’s posse that’s why.”

Disturbing. What would you like to see happen? We would like to see these people reimbursed the money stolen from them, and Cole’s license revoked.  Also, going forward,  for  HUD to deny tax credits to properties that subject their tenants to the repeated unjustified towing by these ruthless trolls.  It’s possible to have problem vehicles towed by simply calling a tow truck to remove abandoned vehicles, or parking issues once spotted. Also, hard fast penalties against predatory towing, as overall towing reform.

The whole system needs to be overhauled because it is an affront to the 5th amendment in that it aborts their right to substantive due process and right to be heard prior to being separated from their private property.When a cop issues you a citation, you have your day in court prior to paying the fine.  The towing industry should not be enabled to suspend rights police aren’t even allowed to violate.  If you call a tow truck, pay upfront.  However, unless it has to do with vehicle repossessions, then non-consent towing should be paid following a day in court.

SIGN THEIR PETITION to rid predatory towing companies like Chris Cole of Cole Towing & Recovery in Welford, SC from abusive and unethical towing practices, especially from LOW INCOME properties by denying builders, a HUGE TAX CREDITS if they employ these unprincipled towing towing companines who tow illegally.  THIS IS A NATIONWIDE PETITION intended for far-reaching.


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