The driver of a tow truck, accused by many Baldwin Park residents for impounding vehicles arbitrarily inside a shopping mall, was arrested by officers of the
Marco Antonio Gonzales, an employee from ASAP Towing in La Puente, was taken into custody on Wednesday May 23 in the parking lot of the “Maine Avenue Market Place,” due to an outstandig warrant for traffic violations.
His tow truck was confiscated for not being properly licensed.
According to Lt. David Reynoso, agents responded to resident's complaints that the tow truck was impounding vehicles for no apparent reason.
Police found the driver upon arriving at the shopping mall. After a cross check, they found irregularities and placed him under arrest.
According to various residents in the area, Gonzales has been impounding vehicles in the shopping center arbitrarily for several months.
The car owners who cars are impounded for parking in private property without doing business, are forced to drive to La Puente and pay 300 dollars to recover their vehicles.
A call was made to shopping mall administrators and ASAP Towing in La Puente but none answered Patch phone calls.
Mario Jauregui, a Baldwin Park resident showed Patch court documents that demonstrate he sued ASAP Towing at least two times as a result of these towings.
Juan Chavez, a Baldwin Park resident whose car was impounded on Wednesday, said that he had to pay $256 dollars on Thursday to recover his Chevy Silverado.
Jesus Becerril, another resident, mentioned that the current shopping mall administrators as well as ASAP Towing are taking advantage of the Baldwin Park community.
“I almost had a heart attack when I didn’t see my car,” mentioned Becerril. “Luckily, the police helped us yesterday and a little bit of justice was done,” he added.
Authorities mentioned that they cannot intervene on the way shopping mall administrators deal with parking policies since it is private property.
However, many residents yesterday commended the intervention of law enforcement authorities in this case.
“We felt justice was done, at least for a moment, when the tow truck was taken,” mentioned Kathtleen Meraz.