Volume 74, Number 49 | April 13 - 19 , 2005

Row over rash of car tows

A lot of car towing by police and marshals went on in Sixth and First Police Precincts earlier this week, prompting anger by some residents who may have believed they were legally parked.

Monday morning, police were towing cars in and around the Meat Market, mainly on Greenwich St. between Horatio and Gansevoort Sts. and on Little W. 12th St.

Doris Diether, a member of Community Board 2, said Kathleen Deegan, a member of the Horatio St. Block Association, called her on Monday to complain that police were towing away residents’ cars, but that the parking signs had been removed recently for construction projects so people thought it was O.K. to park there. According to Diether, Deegan said the towing had been going on in the area for several days.

Monday night, city marshals with the Scofflaw Unit were towing cars all over Lower Manhattan’s First Precinct. Around 9 p.m., they could be spotted hauling away cars on Washington St. between Canal and Spring Sts. People have removed many parking signs in the Hudson Sq. area in the thought it will allow them to park there long term.

Detective Mike Singer, Sixth Precinct Community Affairs officer, said residents are only hurting their neighbors when they remove parking signs, because it will just result in people being ticketed. He said the marshals tow in the Greenwich Village precinct about three or four times a week, driving around in cars with computer consoles and running license plates to find car owners who owe the city more than $200 or $300. The precinct is then given slips with the towed cars’ license numbers, so that when the car owners come to the precinct asking about their vehicles they can be told whether they were seized by the city or may have been stolen.

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