On Christmas Eve I was involved in a minor accident on Academy Hill in Derby CT. It was snowing and my car slid through a fence onto someone's property. There were many accidents on Academy Hill at or around the same time. The snow came down fast and furious and the hill was just too slick for drivers to stop.
I waited while an officer, who was already on the scene, was taking care of the paperwork of a poor girl further down the Hill who had spun out and had more damage than I did. My car was stuck approximately 4-6 feet off the road. It was on top of a portion of the fence. It was drivable and received no damage.
I told the officer I had called my brother-in-law, who lives in Derby, to come pull me out with his truck. The officer said "OK but we would have to wait until the town trucks came to plow and sand the road". My daughters and our new puppy went to wait in the house of beautiful strangers who gave them hot chocolate and shelter from the snow. My brother in law arrived with his truck. The officer told him to" pull over and wait until the town trucks came to clear the road". He did as he was asked to.
The officer than yelled to me and asked if I had AAA I said yes that I did, should I call them now to come? He replied "no, wait until the town trucks come". We waited, I am not sure how long it took but I can tell you it was snowing and very cold, we waited patiently.
In the meantime a tow truck from Tracy's Towing of Derby showed up to tow out the girl further down the road. He also had to wait for the town trucks to clear the road. After the town trucks finally came to plow and sand Tracy's towing began to put her car on the flatbed of his tow truck.
I asked the officer if I could call AAA now. My brother in law was already there but he wouldn't allow him to pull my car out. The officer said "Oh no, Tracy's is going to pull you out right after he puts her car up". I wasn't sure why Tracy's was doing it, I assumed that he was just being nice since I already had my brother in law there with his truck and the officer knew I had AAA.
After a fiasco with my car keys ( I dropped them in the snow but the officer said he could see them on my back seat) Tracy's put a chain under my car and pulled me about 4-6 feet out into the street. The guy from Tracy's then tells me he wants a "100 bucks cash!" I was shocked! I said "100 dollars? You pulled me out 4 feet and I didn't ask you too!" I said" I don't have 100 dollars cash on me!" He at first said he would bill me but then decided out loud that I wouldn't pay him so he demanded cash right there. I told him his price was ridicules! He dropped it to 75 dollars. I said" that's still too high!" Remember I had my brother in law already there and AAA. I didn't need, ask or want this guy towing me.
All of the sudden he became irate and told the officers he was taking my car. The officers just stood there while this guy attempted to get into my car while my brother in law was standing in the drivers doorway. The officer, who was the one who would not ALLOW my brother in law tow me, who would not ALLOW me to call AAA was allowing this irate man to try and get in my car!!
I had to open a Christmas Envelope gift that was in my pocket and give him the 50.00 I found in side. He also took 20.00 cash from my brother in law because another officer said "take it from him, he has a wad".
I do not live in Derby but I still live in a country where extortion is illegal everywhere. When I complained to the officers involved they said "you didn't have a choice" I didn't have a choice? I had many options that night once the road was cleared. I don't know how the system works between the Derby police officers and Tracy's towing but I do know that I was extorted 70 cash on Christmas Eve. I am not done with this story yet. It is not the dollar amount as much as it is the principle and morality of the story.