ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you’ve ever been booted for parking in a private lot you know you can’t argue your way out it. That wasn’t the case Wednesday night after a group of people got booted, called the cops, and won their fight.
El Vado management says the tow company was meant to target people going to the River of Lights and parking in their lot, but things didn’t go as planned.
“People got booted and then they got their boots taken off,” said a shop employee.
You don’t hear it often. An APD officer coming to the defense of residents, patrons and restaurant workers at the El Vado whose cars were unlawfully booted.
“You have a representative of El Vado that is requesting termination of your services,” said the responding APD officer.
The tow truck driver says he was told by management to boot people that were using the parking lot next to the El Vado Motel and Apartments to go to the River of Lights. The dispute broke out Wednesday night after he booted residents’ cars instead. He told the group he was booting cars without permits. The problem was, the residents hadn’t received those permits yet.
Not only was he booting the wrong cars, but he was also breaking the law. According to the city’s rules, a property owner has to post signs at least two weeks before they start booting cars. Right now, there is no sign in the parking lot to notify people their cars could be booted.
People who work at the El Vado say the lot is usually pretty crowded, and they can’t seem to think of a parking solution either.
“It’s a local spot and a tourist spot, so it’s really a lot of fun and growing,” says Elaine Price. “There is not a lot of parking down here, but if you look at the area there’s not a lot of room,” Price says.
El Vado management says there was a plan to give residents permits for the lot, but they’ve decided to hold off. They’ve also gotten rid of the parking enforcement until they can come up with a better solution.
Management says everyone who paid the tow company Wednesday night has been reimbursed their $75.