Woman gets refund for questionable boot on car after Better Call Behnken investigation

RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Riverview mother received a refund for a questionable boot on her car after a Better Call Behnken investigation.

“I’m happy to get my money back,” she said. “And I hope the overall issue improves.”

It cost Angela Jones $95 to get the boot off of her car, while parked in a shopping plaza on Boyette Road. She was there to pick up her teenage children from Papi’s Cuban Kitchen. They went there to eat after school.

But that choice put Jones in the middle of a parking war.

That’s because when Valrico Academy and Bell Creek Academy Charter Schools dismiss, kids swarm the parking lot, looking for their parents.

Some businesses complain that they take parking spots away from their customers. So the plaza owner hired PTR Towing to boot parents who hog parking spots.

Jones says she doesn’t typically pick up her teenage kids after school, but on Wednesday, their sports activities changed. They asked if they could walk to Papi’s restaurant next door to get food. When she pulled in a spot to pick them up, Jones says she was blocked by the tow guys.

“They jumped out of the car and immediately went towards my tire,” she said. “Blocked me in.”

Then came the boot.

“They’re like, ‘You’re going to have to pay me $95 to take the boot off.’ I’m like ‘$95? Are you serious? My kids are purchasing food, what’s the deal?'”

Jesus Rodriguez, the co-owner of Papi’s Cuban Kitchen tells Better Call Behnken that the kids are customers.

“I don’t think they should get booted just because they come to pick up kids here,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think it’s fair.”

Dan Anci, the manager at PTR Towing, said he reviewed the situation after Better Call Behnken asked questions. He decided to give Jones a full refund of the $95. But he said he hopes parents who are using the lot only to pick up kids will stop.

“It’s dangerous,” he said. “If they are customers, they just have to go inside the shops, and we won’t bother them.”

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