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Tow Truck Driver Mistakenly Takes Car With Sleeping 7-Year-Old Inside


Fizzle1979
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351438,00.html

Tow Truck Driver Mistakenly Takes Car With Sleeping 7-Year-Old Inside

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DALLAS — A tow truck driver unknowingly hauled away a car with a 7-year-old asleep inside before returning the vehicle minutes later and speeding away, police said.

The panicked parents of the missing boy watched the driver hurriedly unhook their car and take off as they met with authorities late Monday, according to a Dallas police report. A possible kidnapping investigation at the apartment complex had already begun.

Fidel Retana Jr., 23, was pulled over a short time later and arrested on child endangerment charges. But police said Tuesday they expect to drop the charges.

"It appeared that he did not intend to take the child," Dallas police Sgt. Brenda Nichols said.

David Traylor, Retana's attorney, said his client noticed the boy only when he stopped to ensure that the car was hooked up properly. The car had been parked in a fire lane while the boy's mother ran upstairs to her apartment.

Traylor said Retana left the second time in a hurry because he knew the parents were there and were probably angry.

"He tried to do everything he could to get the kid back quickly," Traylor said.

Authorities said the boy's mother was crying and vomiting outside when they arrived. The boy was still asleep when the car was returned.

"I hate the way towing people run the business," said Sergio Zuniga, the boy's father.

Am I wrong for thinking the mother left her child alone in a car? Opinions?

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Ok..so the mother left her seven year old alone in a car parked illegally in a fire lane, but the father is blaming the towing people?

Right...

Don't get me wrong, I've left my kids in the car in the parking lot (they're 11 and 9), and when they were younger I even left them in the car when I ran in to pay gas (if the car was visible from the store and not very busy). I even let my daughter sleep in the car for about 30 minutes one time when we arrived at grandmas, but we were sitting on the porch where we could see the car.

It sounds, though, like they left the kid sleeping in the car (which was parked illegally) and were...what? inside their home or another person's home? They clearly couldn't see the car where their child was sleeping or they'd have seen the tow truck driver hooking their car up and had ample opportunity to tell him about the child inside. The tow truck driver should have brought the child back, but continued with the towing of the car!

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Tough call.

I think we've all left the kids in the car for a second to run back in and grab something. If that's all she did, I'm not going to get out the whipping post yet.

And some of these tow drivers like to hang out waiting for someone to park in the wrong spot, and then can hook up and leave within 60 seconds.

It could have been a dumbass mom, who left a sleeping kid in the car for far too long, or a predatory asshat tow driver, too worried about getting the car hitched and gone as fast as possible to bother looking inside first.

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Timeline here seems to indicate the kid may truly have been left for just a minute or two.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/041608dnmettow.39587cc.html

They called 911 about 11:17 p.m. and ran toward the apartment complex's gated exit, where someone told them they saw a tow truck leaving with a car. A police officer arrived to find Ms. Jio on her hands and knees, crying and vomiting.

Then, at 11:22 p.m., as the parents and a police officer gathered just inside the complex's gate, Mr. Retana returned and stopped outside the gate.

They watched as he quickly unhooked the car, "abandoning the vehicle in the middle of the parking lot without regards for the safety" of the boy, a police report says.

Gotta side with the authorities on this one for arresting the tow truck driver. Once he discovered the kid in the vehicle, he should get on the radio and say, "Get the cops here. I just towed a vehicle, and there's a kid sleeping inside."

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Could it be a possibility that the parents were taking something inside and didn't want to wake the kid until they came back out for him? There are several facts of this story that we just don't know.

IMHO I think the tow truck driver saw $$$ for the tow and didn't follow any proper procedure for towing a the vehicle.

I'm sure that nobody here has ever parked in an illegal spot for a couple of minutes.

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Timeline here seems to indicate the kid may truly have been left for just a minute or two.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/041608dnmettow.39587cc.html

They called 911 about 11:17 p.m. and ran toward the apartment complex's gated exit, where someone told them they saw a tow truck leaving with a car. A police officer arrived to find Ms. Jio on her hands and knees, crying and vomiting.

Then, at 11:22 p.m., as the parents and a police officer gathered just inside the complex's gate, Mr. Retana returned and stopped outside the gate.

They watched as he quickly unhooked the car, "abandoning the vehicle in the middle of the parking lot without regards for the safety" of the boy, a police report says.

Gotta side with the authorities on this one for arresting the tow truck driver. Once he discovered the kid in the vehicle, he should get on the radio and say, "Get the cops here. I just towed a vehicle, and there's a kid sleeping inside."

Gotta agree with ya. I don't think the tow truck driver was in the wrong for taking the vehicle but he did not handle the situation properly at all. He just dropped the car back off and didn't say or notify anybody? WTF?

The mom should not have left her child alone at 11pm either. And at an apartment complex? Sometimes I leave my children in the vehicle in our carport while I run in the house really quick to grab something. And even that makes me very nervous. The mother and the tow truck driver both practiced bad judgement.

I'm wondering how this poor little boy did throughout all this. Did he wake up at any point? :?

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According to a different source, they had the kid at the ER for a splinter. The wait got long, so they decided to drop dad off at home. Kid fell asleep. When they got home, mom ran upstairs to let dad in (rather than give him the keys, and have him walk them back down to her) and that's when the tow happened.

So they left a sleeping child alone in a car parked illegally at 11pm at night....to avoid dad having to make an extra trip down the stairs. It wasn't an emergency, it wasn't a necessity, it was just a convenience/laziness decision.

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According to a different source, they had the kid at the ER for a splinter. The wait got long, so they decided to drop dad off at home. Kid fell asleep. When they got home, mom ran upstairs to let dad in (rather than give him the keys, and have him walk them back down to her) and that's when the tow happened.

So they left a sleeping child alone in a car parked illegally at 11pm at night....to avoid dad having to make an extra trip down the stairs. It wasn't an emergency, it wasn't a necessity, it was just a convenience/laziness decision.

If that really was what happened and it was just a few second, that tow truck driver must have just been parked and waiting. But then again, does it really take less than a minute to get to the vehicle, hook it up, and leave? :?

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If that really was what happened and it was just a few second, that tow truck driver must have just been parked and waiting. But then again, does it really take less than a minute to get to the vehicle, hook it up, and leave? :?

Less than that... When I left the repo business I had a truck that could be loaded in 15 seconds flat if you where good. And it's completely possible to miss a child (or even a adult) in a car with that type of equipment. You do not have to get out of the truck to load the car.

I got out of repos due to safety issues for myself. Ya, I could lift and go in 15-20 seconds flat, it takes less time to fire on the truck, trust me, I know from experience. I completely understand why the driver hooked and ran, and why he was worried about the safe return of the child. He botched it big time with the drop and run. Call the cops ASAP have them come get the child from the car and carry on.

Heres where the blame lies.

Daddy is to flipping lazy. Could not carry the keys in, or the kid for that matter.

Mommy it to stupid to have kids. Going up the steps with daddy might have saved him a trip. But it made another for her (so maybe daddy is lazy and smart.. well. he left the kid too) Heres a hint should they try it again. REMOVE THE CAR KEY FROM THE RING! duh. nuff said.

Kid was innocent

Tow truck driver better loose his job. If he did not know the procedure for handling this type of situation

(it happens a lot in repo, snatch and go can net you a lot more than you bargain for. mainly it's pets, but I did tow a car with it's owner sleeping in the back seat once)

My wife set the kid rules when it comes to the cars. It can be bars of gold in the back of the mini-van, kids go in to the house first.

break this rule and wife will break.. well.. we won't go there.

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Less than that... When I left the repo business I had a truck that could be loaded in 15 seconds flat if you where good. And it's completely possible to miss a child (or even a adult) in a car with that type of equipment. You do not have to get out of the truck to load the car.

15 seconds to drive to a vehicle and hook it on and get back in your vehicle and leave? That's pretty impressive! Seeing as how it just took me longer than that to get my butt out of my computer chair........:lol::lol::lol::lol:

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My wife set the kid rules when it comes to the cars. It can be bars of gold in the back of the mini-van, kids go in to the house first.

break this rule and wife will break.. well.. we won't go there.

That's my rule......

Also, no soda runs at the QT. If you have all 3 kids and you need a soda that bad........take em with or die!

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15 seconds to drive to a vehicle and hook it on and get back in your vehicle and leave? That's pretty impressive! Seeing as how it just took me longer than that to get my butt out of my computer chair........:lol::lol::lol::lol:

he was waiting, or the right place at the right time (driving by??) I am sure since the no parking area is close to the front door, it's a problem area for short term parking. The city probably told the towing company to inforce it a bit more.

and yes, I could back up your drive way, pick up your car, and be back on the street in 15-20 seconds. Once the wheels are off the ground I am gone. the truck can keep lifting while I am going down your drive way. Remember what i said earlier. You do not have to get out of the truck to load. you use a camera mounted in the rear of the truck to guide the truck under the car, then the arms swing around the back of the tires with the flip of a switch, another switch lifts it. Once I saw air under the cars tires I was on the gas and leaving.

check it out, this is almost exactly the same setup I had (except the truck I used looked like a normal 1 ton dually truck)

loaded the car in 30 seconds or so.

The exact unit we had except it was modified for underbody attachment (no large arm going over the top of the truck)

yes, I was able to pull cars out that where near bumper to bumper like the vette. However, i will say it required lots of practice at the lot with junk cars.

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That's my rule......

Also, no soda runs at the QT. If you have all 3 kids and you need a soda that bad........take em with or die!

I solved that problem years ago..

McDonalds and what not have drive throughs for a reason!

Now, if I could figure out how to keep the kid from asking for a happy meal.

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yup.. those where the best repo's.. always left them wondering how it was done. They'd call the cops because by law, you can't hook the cars your not there to repo. I simply told the police I didn't need to, I lifted only the car I was there to repo.

Had to show a few officers down at the lot how it was done. but it did not take long before the stopped calling about it and told the people it was a legit repo when they called.

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he was waiting, or the right place at the right time (driving by??) I am sure since the no parking area is close to the front door, it's a problem area for short term parking. The city probably told the towing company to inforce it a bit more.

and yes, I could back up your drive way, pick up your car, and be back on the street in 15-20 seconds. Once the wheels are off the ground I am gone. the truck can keep lifting while I am going down your drive way. Remember what i said earlier. You do not have to get out of the truck to load. you use a camera mounted in the rear of the truck to guide the truck under the car, then the arms swing around the back of the tires with the flip of a switch, another switch lifts it. Once I saw air under the cars tires I was on the gas and leaving.

check it out, this is almost exactly the same setup I had (except the truck I used looked like a normal 1 ton dually truck)

loaded the car in 30 seconds or so.

The exact unit we had except it was modified for underbody attachment (no large arm going over the top of the truck)

yes, I was able to pull cars out that where near bumper to bumper like the vette. However, i will say it required lots of practice at the lot with junk cars.

WOW! :shock: I actually got a little thrill from watching that. :lol: Maybe I should go into the business.....:lol: Makes me wonder what would happen though if a tow truck like that got into the hands of a car thief.... :twisted:

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