Nigel Campbell's picture

Tow Company Owner Arrested After Allegedly Targeting Gay Days Visitors

Jason Combs, the owner of an Orange County towing company, ASAP Towing, has been arrested and is facing grand theft charges after allegedly targeting drivers that were parked near Gay Days events in June.

WFTV 9 reports

The Sheriff's Office said Combs illegally towed cars from a lot on International Drive across from the DoubleTree hotel. It was the site of the annual Gay Days celebration that took place between June 5 and June 9.

"He had no authority to tow vehicles from that property during the time he took those people's cars," said Cpl. Rick Schmeltzer with the Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said ASAP Towing is a "predatory" tow company and Combs targeted dozens of people because of their sexual orientation.

"A lot of customers were angry they were getting their cars towed illegally," Schmeltzer said. "Some of them felt they were intimidated because of their sexual orientation."

According to deputies, Combs did not have a contract to do towing at the lot. He's facing nearly 100 grand theft auto charges and is being held on a $51,000 bond at the Orange County Jail.

Thoughts, Instincters? Should Combs be charged with a hate crime?


Tow companies tow illegally often. If I see a tow truck here in Long Beach just hanging out, I won't leave my vehicle unattended. I have my equality sticker on my car, and though I support the cause, I fear that my support has cost me. I've had a window bashed in. I've had my tires slashed.
People look for scapegoats to purge the negativity from their own miserable lives.
What this guy did is a horrendous crime. The fact that people are allowed to direct their negativity on a group of people, making them their whipping boy, their scape-goat is what makes it a HATE CRIME.
We treat these things serious because despite the fact that its a crime, its one whose motivation (NOT JUST GREED IN THIS CASE) is so heinous that it supports other such crimes that are directed at a community. Hate crimes that lead to more than just the loss of something monetary. As a society, we set rules and guidelines to help protect and direct the path of it's citizens.
If we allow a crime that is targeting a specific group of people to go unchecked for it's motivation, then it only goes leaves other potential crimes against said community seem justified.

Sometime owners doesn't know what the front line employees are up to. I think I'm really dumb. I like to see the facts before I judge anything. Damn, I'm so dumb! 

Sucked in cunt

Does the sun come up in the East and set in the West? Yes!!! Fry that bastard!!!

I'm totally gay and totally against the idea of something being called a "hate crime". ALL crimes are hate crimes regardless of the motivation. The penalty for stealing a car because it belongs to a gay person should be the same if it doesn't belong to a gay person. I believe the whole "hate crime " thing is what leads some to believe gays want special privileges rather than equal privileges.

when some does something offensive to you because of your race or sexual orientation this person attempts to put fear in the hearts of those people and community. He/She is in fact terrorizing that group. This is not the same in a random act. Hence why we have hate crimes.

But EVERYONE belongs to some minority group. Designating crimes against CERTAIN groups a hate crime invites exactly the sort of mistaken sense of persecution he/she was referring to. 

As a latino, I can totally second that person's opinion. If someone attacks me for being latino, I want them prosecuted for assault on another human being. I don't want one person in the universe getting away with the pretense that my attacker was nailed for hating whatever group I belong to. My humanity is more important than any group considered a "minority" in early 21st century America. Plus, where is the mountain of evidence that designating certain crimes "hateful" has some deterrent effect on bigots? And I'm sure you would agree that all sorts of persecuted minority groups can be attacked without the "hate" designation slapped to their attackers, simply for not being large enough to have the lobbying heft necessary to have their group recognized as a persecuted minority. For example, I have a co-worker who told me once that he hates hoarders enough to beat one. Yet if he actually went ahead and did it, the hoarder would have to be "lucky" to be gay, or black, or female, to get their attacker some extra time in jail. The law shouldn't be made more complicated that way. We should be avoiding subjective designations and focusing on universal ones. Especially if the end game is literally "equality under the law". 

Fernando ... You must be drunk ... Go home ... A hate crime is in fact when a particular group is singled out or targeted based on race, sexual orientation, gender, religion etc... So when a group of people get their cars towed at one of the "Gay Days" host hotels it is of course considered a hate crime ... Do us all a favor and not be neutral and take a stance Switzerland 

This type of towing is so common in Florida. Governments should pass a law the only way a car can be towed is if the police ticket it as parked illegally parked. Welcome to the south, it's the "good old boy" mentality type laws here.

Wow - I am glad that he is not getting away with this.

If it is determined through discovery that the man has an anti-gay history, add the hate crime. 

But more to the point, every vehicle owner should get restitution for any out of pocket charges and some form of emotional distress compensation (why pursuing a hate crime is necessary).  Finally, the Tow company, should be put out of business for it's clearly illegal and unauthorized actions.

What's a "predatory tow company": Is everything they do illegal? Why are they still in business?

Charge him. He had some nerve!

Take that, you bastard!

Busted, loser!

Who cares if it was because they were gay, what he did was wrong.  He was simply looking to make a buck.

Not a hate crime but a $1,000 penalty per car.  !!*^#^*!! like him are too ignorant to understand.  But he would totally understand a slam on his wallet.  

Ummmm YES!!! 

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