Predatory Roam Towing - Ultimate - Owner Stephen O'Grady Archived

200 East University Avenue Gainesville, FL Show on Map Hide Map
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Issue ID:


Submitted To:

Roads & Streets




1948 times


311GNVPolice Sector 4




This report was submitted to the City Manager's Office as an email by way of the City Commission Office

also asked...
Q. Please describe the issue so we may route your request to the appropriate department and service area for resolution.
A. Dear Commissioner Budd, This may be useful going forward. Type 'roam towing' into any search engine. Gainesville is the bullseye on this issue. You will see every reason to end this practice or at least severely restrict the conditions under which it is administered. You will see a pattern over many years of unethical negligent and inappropriate behavior. This is a blight on our city, and a business killer for Downtown, and the City and others should not be partnering with such incompetent shady bullies. My opinion on this matter is shared by thousands of people in our community, or you certainly would not be addressing the issue yet once again, as has been done many times in the past to no satisfaction. We need something new. Based on the March 3 WUFT article regarding the city taking a closer look at Ultimate Towing and predatory roam towing in general...again...I wanted to appraise you of a few facts which I would like to enter into the record. #1. I posted that WUFT article on my FaceBook page, and it was not too long before there were hundreds of comments from friends, many of them extremely angry at what they believed to be unethical actions on the part of Ultimate Towing, and owner Mr. Stephen O'Grady. At some point, and this was the early morning hours of 3/6/2017, Mr. O'Grady responded to almost each and every post. He was making valid points to begin with, then things spun so far out of hand that he actually at one point informed me he had hired a private investigator to do a background check on me. He then posted several screen captures of minor traffic infractions I had received from as early as 1989. Literally, there were maybe three or four times over that 25 year period where I did not remember to pack my wallet and was charged with no license, and then I brought my license in and the matter in all cases was 'withheld adjudication.' In other words, no big deal. But the point being, he posted these images as a kind of harassment/intimidation, to show everybody who was participating in the post that he had this power to investigate those with whom he does not agree. That, and the voluminous texts from O'Grady that flooded into my feed non-stop for near two days...I have captured a 63 page document filled with Stephen O'Grady comments. Let me stress, all I did was post the article, and friends responded. I was at all times cordial (my friends, not so much). I did not invite Mr. O'Grady to the chat, and I am not friends with him on FaceBook or otherwise. He weighed in with roughly one-hundred posts. #2. In that document, he made an astonishing confession regarding a tow he performed in the middle of the night on July 4th, 2014. To explain what happened there, I am copy/pasting a police complaint I just filed moments ago. I just want someone to have access to this information because as righteous as he claims to be in honoring the law and being what he believes to be a great businessman (600 complaints which you will note in the WUFT article, he's so amazing...) he has absolutely broken the law and the negligence of this incident is astounding. So here is the copy/paste of the police report I filed and if you would like me to send you a .pdf of the over 60 pages of posts in which he shows his colors, I would be delighted to send it to you. COPY PASTE POLICE REPORT HERE: SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT: During a tow on July 4 of 2014, Ultimate Towing owner Stephen O’Grady fell out of his tow truck losing control of his vehicle. His tow truck jack-knifed severely damaging a mint-condition black Chevy Camaro attached to the truck. The truck rolled across the parking lot striking the only other car in the lot in a crash. Mr. O’Grady broke his arm. He did not, as is required by law, make any report of this incident to authorities as required per state statute: State Statute 316.066. This incident occurred July 4, 2014. It is my understanding the statute of limitations is four years. The vehicle towed on this night was my friend’s black mint condition collector’s edition 2012 Chevy Camaro. I was a passenger in the vehicle in question before it was towed from the Sun Center West lot on a holiday evening from an empty lot on July the 4th. I accompanied the person who was towed to retrieve the vehicle. I recognize this is three years earlier but as I understand it, the statute of limitations on matters such as these are four years. As roam towing has again become a hot-button topic due to an article by WUFT, - I made a Facebook Post sharing the article on 3/5/2017. This post attracted over one-hundred comments. Between making the post and the following day, owner of Ultimate Towing, Mr. O'Grady personally responded to almost every post over a period of several hours. He is still responding and other posts are coming in from him as I write this complaint. During the posting, I asked him if he remembered this incident involving the car associated with this complaint. I am including his reply as he wrote it in my comments which explains - in his own words - what happened. In his reply, he states that he was not required to report to the police department his injury (he broke his arm from falling out of the tow truck), nor his crash (as he fell, he negligently put his tow truck in gear and it jack-knifed, destroying the side of the Camaro, and the car continued to roll across the empty lot with no driver into the only other vehicle present. After calling GPD today (3/6) and asking if it was true that Mr. O'Grady was required to alert the police to the incident even though it occurred on private property, I was told by officer Mike Barnes that indeed he was required to report the incident (he did not). Officer Barnes cited State Statute 316.066 Written reports of crashes. — Therefore, as the statute of limitations has not ended and this matter may be an instance where the owner of Ultimate Towing violated the law, I am asking for this matter to be investigated and a written record of the results be provided to both myself ( and the city of Gainesville as it begins deliberations concerning the regulation of predatory roam towing practices. What follows is the transcript of exactly what Mr. Stephen O'Grady (Owner of Ultimate Towing and the person suffering the injury and allowing his vehicle to roll out of control causing a crash and damage) said. TRANSCRIPT: FaceBook Post - 3/6/2017: "Yes, I fell out of a tow truck 3 years ago and broke my arm. It was the night of July 4th. It was raining and when I got out of the truck I stepped into oil in the parking lot and mixed with the rain I fell. I tried to grab the steering wheel of the truck to catch myself and knocked the truck into reverse. I was impounding a new black Chevy Camero. The truck almost ran me over and I had to roll out of the way onto my broken arm. The truck jack-knifed damaging the Camero and hit another car--think it was a Honda. All damages to the Camero were paid for by my company. The owner of the car was made whole. The damaged Honda I left my personal business card, drivers lic number and insurance info on the car. It was for sale at the time and when the owner called me I purchased his car at his asking price and then resold it at my car dealership. Each owner was made whole 100 percent to their satisfaction. Each owner was HAPPY with the resolution. Why would the police be notified? I didn't commit a crime. An accident is not a crime. This occurred on private property. There is no requirement to notify the police and even if I had called the police all they would have done is taken my information. There was no law broken. As I said, I followed the law by leaving my required info on the damaged Honda. I did impound the Camero [sic] because the law requires it. I couldn't leave it in the parking lot that would have been a felony because it was already attached to my tow truck. The Camero [sic] was repaired at Main Street Chevy with 100 percent NEW Chevy parts. Accidents happen--I did the right thing and made it right." Mr. O’Grady also wrote: "There is absolutely NO legal requirement to report an accident on private property or even on a city roadway. There are laws requiring the leaving of contact information, insurance information and drivers license numbers on a vehicle when parked. I did that. I followed the law.There isn't even a governing body to report an accident like that to. The police have no jurisdiction in an accident in a parking lot." - Stephen O'Grady - Proprietor of Ultimate Towing, Gainesville, Florida. I do have screen-captures of his posts included with this email. Thank you, and I look forward to the results of a thorough investigation of this incident. -Tom Miller 352-222-5401 Commissioner, if this is helpful in any way, please use it. If someone else at the city can make use of it, please do so. If it is of no value moving forward, thank you for taking the time to evaluate it. All the best, -- Tom Miller


  • 311GNV (Registered User)

  • Acknowledged Office of the City Manager (Primary) (Registered User)

  • Office of the City Manager (Primary) (Registered User)

  • Office of the City Manager (Primary) (Registered User)

  • Closed 311GNV (Registered User)

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