SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – A tow company received backlash online after putting a boot on an ambulance for parking in a private lot during a break. The owner of the lot is defending the tow company saying they were hired to do so when people violated the parking policy.
The incident happened Thursday just before noon. A crew from Gold Cross Ambulance can be seen on surveillance video pulling into the parking lot at Litzas Pizza and taking up two spots. They then walk out of the parking lot and next door to Chipotle.
A worker from ABC Towing can then be seen walking over the booting the truck.
On social media a person claiming to be the ambulance driver said they were angry because they missed a call. The company would not confirm if they were on duty. By Monday the original tweet had been deleted.
Mark Hale is one of the owners of Litzas Pizza and Hires BigH which owns the parking lot. He defended ABC towing saying that’s what they hired them for.
Hale said the problem started once a new apartment complex was built next door and included a Chipotle. People kept parking in their lot taking up space for their customers.
“We went for two or three months just hoping people would be respectful of the signs,” said Hale. “Once we realized they weren’t going to do that we contacted the towing company.”
Instead of towing Hale decided just to allow the tow company to boot vehicles violating the rules. There are 19 large signs warning driver they are only for customers of their business.
While there is a parking garage for Chipotle there were only around a dozen spots available. Hale worries if the city doesn’t require more parking for new businesses then more areas will see the parking problems he’s faced.
“ABC Towing has been beautiful in doing their job, it’s a tough job,” said Hale. “But if you don’t protect your property rights than you have no property rights.”
According to the footage the ambulance crew was only gone for around three minutes during the lunch rush. Hale said when dozens of people do that it takes spots from his customers during a rush.
ABC Towing said the ambulance company called them to apologize and said they are warning drivers to be mindful of where they park.
ABC4 Utah reached out to Gold Cross Ambulance, but they said they have no comment, because the matter had been resolved. They would not say if the crew was on duty or if they had a call come in like the driver claimed.