Jacob P. Combs faces 29 counts of grand theft of a motor vehicles. The bigoted is facing nearly 100 total charges for illegally towing the vehicles between June 5 and 9 from a parking lot at Westwood Town Center, which is across the street from the hotel hosting the event.
Combs, who lacked an up-to-date contract to tow vehicles or proper signage notifying people that the low was a tow-away zone, claims that only illegally parked vehicles were towed. His attorney, R. David de Armas, said that Combs’ contract with the owner of the property was valid, and blamed the gay agenda for the targeting of his client.
“The fact that the [criminal] complaint said something about Gay Days makes me wonder what’s behind it,” de Armas said. “If someone shoplifted during Gay Days would the complaint mention that it happened during Gay Days?”
Combs claims that he has nothing against LGBT individuals.
However, Cpl. Rick Schmeltzer said that Combs targeted vehicles during last year’s Gay Days activities, as well, and that during events other than Gay Days ASAP Towing completed “ “minuscule amount of tows.” Schmeltzer said the company had “spotters” watching for people who left the center so their vehicles could be towed.
With many of these people, their cars were towed within 5, 10 15 minutes [of parking],” he said. “This was total predator towing. There’s really no other word for it.” A tow truck would hide around the corner and when a spotter saw someone walk across the street to the hotel, the vehicle would be towed. Victims of Comb’s predatory towing were charged $165 cash to tow their car, including a $40 “gate fee,” which is a violation of Florida law. Authorities say Combs also broke the law when he towed the vehicles more than ten miles away to ASAP’s Bell Isle location.
“He’s one of those [business owners] that wants to pick and choose what [laws] he’s going to follow,” Schmeltzer said.
ASAP does currently have a contract with Westwood Town Center, but that contract expired in May. It was not renewed until mid-June, after the Gay Days events. In an e-mail with the owner, Combs asked if the contract could be backdated to include Gay Days to avoid “any technicalities,” according to the complaint.
“This is further evidence that Jason Combs knew he had no contract in place and was not authorized to tow vehicles from Westwood Town Center,” the complaint said.
Schmeltzer said that hate crime charges are under review.
Watch a report on this predator below: