Company Fighting City’s ‘Tow Jumping’ Law

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A Youngstown tow truck company is unhappy with a city ordinance preventing them from showing up at accident scenes without being called.

Two tow truck companies arrived on the scene of a rollover accident on Himrod Avenue Monday. Both left without the tow, but police cited them for coming to the scene of an accident without being called.

Bugno’s Towing was one of those operators cited. Owner Alex Bugno said the city has a personal vendetta and is playing favorites, allowing other tow truck companies to get the business.

“The customers feel intimidated, and they say, ‘no, you can’t use Bugno’s’ and then there’s been several incidents where we were requested, and the customer was told they have to use whoever is on the city rotation,” said Bugno. “They are trying to put us out of business.”

According to Youngstown Law Director Anthony Farris, the city ordinance, routinely called the Tow Jumping Ordinance, is the reason Bugno was cited. It’s a second-degree misdemeanor.

“It prohibits a tow truck operator or tow truck company from just showing up at the scene of an accident without having been called either by police or the person involved in the accident,” said Farris.

Farris said the ordinance was put in place years ago to prevent accident victims from mistakenly paying the wrong tow truck company and to keep tow operators from racing to the scene of accidents and interfering with police.

Bugno said he wants customers to have the right to call whatever company they choose, and the city is denying them that right. Bugno is suing the city on the constitutionality of the ordinance.

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