Wrecker Service Faces Federal Suit

A lawyer who feels strongly that his client was wronged by a towing company has decided to make a federal case out of it.

Nobody likes it when their vehicle is towed, but few take such disputes to federal court.

In late November there were three vehicles for sale parked out in front of Kohl's department store in Conway.

Then they were towed.

This federal lawsuit accuses a wrecker service of towing the vehicles without any request from Kohl's.

It also claims the wrecker service refused to release the vehicles to the owner, in part because he is Hispanic.

Tracy Gafner, registered agent for Steve's Auto Service, says her driver wasn't asked by Kohl's to tow the vehicles.

He was asked by THF Realty, the Missouri Company that manages Conway Commons shopping complex.

She showed us the request form required by law, signed by property manager Tom Wilkins.

"The vehicles had been sitting there, what we were told by Mr. Wilkins, for over a weekpossibly several weeks is what he believes," Gafner told us.

As far as refusing to release them, Gafner says the issues were a lack of proper paperwork and a Conway police department investigation, not nationality.

"We had several people come in inquiring about the vehicles but none of them had the proper paperwork," says Gafner. "And Conway police department instructed us that if somebody came here about the vehicles to contact the detective. That they wanted to come down here and talk to them about the stolen tag."

An attorney for Steve's Auto Service filed a motion to have this lawsuit thrown out, but instead a trial date has been set for April of next year.

Air date: January 15th, 2013