Competing business owner reacts to tow truck raid
A day after a local towing operation was raided, the owner of a competing business is weighing in. He tells YNN's Ryan Whalen towing operations in the city still need some work.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The owner of South Buffalo Auto Parts isn't making excuses for any of his tow truck competitors.
"There's a lot of shady stuff going on still. Whatever they can get away with," said Mike Swinarski.
But Swinarski says he was surprised Buffalo Police and federal agents raided Jim Mazz Auto Wednesday.
"I'm sure they were doing something wrong because there wouldn't be that many police officers there if they weren't doing something wrong. But I don't know what they were doing wrong. I never saw them pay anybody off."
He says he heard of tow truck drivers paying police to get a job in the past, but has never dealt with it himself.
"I never saw anybody, or anybody never said to me, you know throw me 50 bucks and you'll get some work or something. That never happened."
"Any illegal behavior by anyone will not be tolerated by this government and we will take aggressive action to root out any illegal behavior by anyone," said Buffalo mayor Byron Brown.
The city already changed its laws regarding tow truck operations earlier this year following the fatal shooting of a driver.
South Buffalo Auto is one of only two tow companies authorized by the city but Swinarski says the new rules aren't always followed.
"Other companies will have tow trucks sitting all over the city just listening to the police scanner and they'll just go right to the scene before anybody gets there."
While he says the new rules haven't been very lucrative for him, there are things more important than money.
"I was worried about my drivers. I was thinking this guy got shot. I'm going to call somebody's wife someday and say, 'yeah, he was towing a car for me and he got shot.' It would be really bad."
He believes the city is on the right track to cleaning up the way vehicles are towed.