Was it an act of bravery — or stupidity?
Victor Jaime of Hammond, Ill., brought a friend and George, his English Bulldog, along to pick up some food on the night of March 29. He parked his Jeep Wrangler in a Walgreens parking lot, and left George inside with the engine running while he and his friend walked over to the nearby Portillo’s restaurant.
Just a few minutes later, a tow truck from the Lincoln Towing company had hooked up the Jeep, with George still inside it.
When Jaime saw what was happening, he ran and jumped into the driver’s seat of his Jeep. He honked the horn and shouted at the tow truck driver to stop.
“He could definitely hear me. I was yelling at him,” Jaime told DNAinfo. “He was blatantly looking at me when he backed up.”
After traveling about a block, the tow truck finally stopped — but then the driver raised the hook, hoisting the Jeep even higher off the ground.
“I think the guy might force me out, or even have a gun,” Jaime said.
He decided to put the Jeep in drive and hit the gas. “It was a huge drop,” he said. “Once I landed, I checked George, and that’s when I took off.”
Tony Marengo, who lives in an apartment across the street, heard Jaime yelling and recorded the incident on his cell phone. His video has been viewed more than 2.1 million times.
“We are used to seeing cars get towed out of the Walgreens lot next door with lightning speed,” Marengo wrote on YouTube. “Usually NOT WITH A PERSON IN THE CAR, though. And this guy definitely didn’t want to get towed…”
Jaime told DNAinfo his car wasn’t damaged and, most importantly, George wasn’t harmed.
“I’m no hero,” he said. “I’m a dog lover.”
After speaking to a lawyer and the Illinois Commerce Commission, Jaime found out the tow truck driver broke the law, which states, “No vehicle shall be relocated where the owner of the vehicle or the owner’s agent is present or arrives on the scene before the vehicle is completely removed from the private property, produces the ignition key to the vehicle, and the owner or agent is able and does immediately remove the vehicle from the private property.”
However, Jaime was also in the wrong — not just for leaving George in a vehicle with the engine running, but for parking in the Walgreen’s lot, which has signs warning it’s for store customers only.
“It was A LEGAL TOW are you reading what I am typing HE LEFT THE CAR WHERE HE WASN’T SUPPOSED TO so we made it right AND TOWED IT,” wrote kballard27, who may or may not work for Lincoln Towing, in a comment on YouTube.
“I hope you understand there are 2 sides to every story the white knights side and the towing company side THE LEGAL side.”
There’s also a third side to the story, but unfortunately, George can’t talk. If he could, he’d likely tell Jaime to just leave him at home the next time he has to run an errand.
Photo via YouTube