Tracy DeGaetano still isn't over the trauma from last week. Her husband, Gary, gave a guy a ride from their auto body shop. Deputies say the man kidnapped Gary, held him at gunpoint and then dumped him from a moving vehicle on US 19.
Deputies captured the suspect, William Boyd, after a high-speed chase damaged the DeGaetanos' truck, which had to be towed from the scene.
"I don't understand what all the towing charges are for," said Tracy. "I felt like I had a gun to me again."
She showed us the bill. National Towing charged for a service call, and then other fees including fees for two drivers who were dispatched to the scene, up-righting a rollover, other special equipment, storage fees, and administrative costs. The total is $705.00 dollars.
The owner of National Towing, Mike Boudreau, would not go on camera, but said the cost climbed because the drivers waited at the scene for more than three hours.
He said it would have cost more, but he cut the couple a break. He said he actually sent three drivers, but charged them for only two.
Boudreau summed it up when he said, "I feel I didn't do anything wrong. If we did we will fix it."
DeGaetano still does not understand. She said the car was only towed a few miles and National had it for a couple of nights. As fas as how long the drivers waited, she said, was out of their control. They were victims of a crime.
"I mean, have some compassion. He could have lowered his rates a little bit to help us out," she said.
Boudreau's company is on a rotation used by Florida Highway Patrol. FHP said companies follow strict guidelines set by the state. A spokesperson was surprised at the amount of the bill.
"I feel what they charged us is what they would charge an insurance company," said DeGaetano.
After our calls, the FHP is now looking into the bill. The DeGaetanos said they are already out thousands. The truck is not only damaged, but Gary was taken to the hospital and given an MRI.
"On top of the towing costs and lost wages, we are out a lot. My husband was being nice and trying to give someone a ride a home, and now we are going to be paying for this for years," said DeGaetano.
FHP said if they find out the company gouged the consumer, it would be dropped immediately from the rotation.
Boudreau said he's stunned that FHP thought his bill was high and plans on calling a supervisor just as the DeGaetanos file an official complaint.