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While some protesters were marching up Elm Street on Saturday, their cars were being marched down King Street.
That was the scene when a local business, Greg’s Auto Repair, had 14 cars towed from its lot, which the owner said was overflowing with unauthorized vehicles that were impeding business.
“Full to where you couldn’t even drive in it,” was how owner Jeff Tenczar described the parking lot across from his shop, where even on weekends he said customers and towing companies drop off cars needing service, and where he rents two spots to a taxi company.
Those who came back to find their cars gone didn’t take kindly to the towing. Many of them were parking there, across from Northampton High School, to attend the March for our Lives, during which thousands came out to protest gun violence. Student organizer Ben Moss-Horwitz interrupted his speech to let people know their cars were being towed.
The kerfuffle that resulted followed a familiar script for viral outrage: the upset vehicle owners and their supporters took to the internet, where they left one-star reviews for Greg’s Auto Repair on the website Yelp and on Google reviews, some of which suggested that he had their cars towed as political retribution for protesting.
“Why support a business that so abhors free speech and, apparently, condones the slaughter of school children?” read one Google review written by Leslie Hoffman. Several of the car owners called the Gazette to express their anger.
The owner of Greg’s, however, told the Gazette that he had no political motivation whatsoever.
“I was aware of nothing going on on Saturday. I didn’t know the situation that there was a march or anything like that,” Tenczar said Monday. He said he himself has children in the city’s schools, but working 12-hour days he said he didn’t hear about the protest. “I’m all for the protection of our children.”
Tenczar said he has never seen his parking lot so busy. He said he has in the past tolerated the handful of cars that have parked there for high school sporting events, but Saturday’s crowd was too large.
“It makes me feel bad — I don’t want to upset anybody,” Tenczar said, adding that he doesn’t ever want to tow cars but felt he had to when several rows of vehicles piled up on Saturday. “I don’t get anything but headaches for having cars towed.”
Tenczar said he had purchased private parking signs, but hadn’t posted them until Sunday, the day after this latest incident. Signs reading “Parking for Greg’s Auto Repair only” with an accompanying tow warning were visible when the Gazette visited the lot on Monday.
Despite the lack of signs, the company that towed the 14 cars said they and Greg’s Auto Repair were entirely within their legal rights to remove the cars from private property.
“It’s private property — you cannot park there,” said Brett Pietraszkiewicz, the operations manager at Ernie’s Towing. He likened Saturday’s situation to someone leaving their car in a stranger’s driveway. “Although his businesses were closed, his lots were open for his customers.”
Despite the company’s stance that it is firmly within the law in towing the vehicles, some of the vehicle owners have allegedly taken matters into their own hands. Pietraszkiewicz said two of the towed vehicles were taken out of Ernie’s lot and that they are working with the police to potentially press trespassing and larceny charges against the suspects.
LOL. This is great. I wish he did do it on purpose, and honestly, I’m not convinced he didn’t. Was it possible to not know that there were protests going on all over the country on Saturday? I dunno. Seems unlikely. But then again some people don’t know how the Internet works and only watch Nat Geo on TV, so I guess it COULD be true. Just seems unlikely.
I know a thing or two about revenge tows. In college the frat house next to us would tow any of our cars that parked on their property. So we waited for the right time to get our revenge. That came on alumni night when they had some douchey event going on in their house. At least 10-12 people unknowingly parked on our property. Sure, we could’ve asked them to move their cars or just gone on with their lives, but that’s not how revenge works. And seeing the anger in their eyes when they realized we had just ruined their night is something that still makes me warm and fuzzy to this day.
Either way it doesn’t matter. They were parked in his lot. That lot is directly across the street from his business. It obviously belongs to someone, and since he fixes cars for a living and needs a place to park them, that to me would be the obvious place he would keep them.
More importantly, you don’t need a sign to tow people from YOUR lot. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t open or if no one was parked there. When you see a parking lot you have to assume you’re on someone else’s property and you better make damn sure you have permission to park there. If not, don’t whine about it when your Berniemobile gets towed. I don’t have anyone parked in my driveway right now, nor is there a sign saying you can’t park here. Do these SJWs think they can come here and hang out in my driveway? Not happening hippies.
Naturally these savages did what they always do when they don’t get their way – declare cyber warfare on your livelihood. A bunch of people who had never done business at Greg’s start flooding him with 1 star reviews:
This is why I will never, ever, ever take an online review seriously. So long as Google and Facebook allow pretty much anyone to leave a review, without of any sort of evidence that they actually did business there, it will always be fake news. If these companies had a process in which business owners could flag fake reviews and they were hidden until Google and Facebook investigated their validity, it would be OK. But it’s a free for all and it’s not real.
Yet somehow it matters. It affect you coming up on page one of Google, which is something that dramatically affects your business. When people search “car repairs Northampton” you want to be #1. SEO companies make billions of dollars for their clients to be that first listing. And it can all be taken away by fake reviews.
So the only way to combat this is to fire back at these Nazis. This broad was the ringleader:
“Why support a business that so abhors free speech and apparently condones the slaughter of children.”
See that? That’s why they’re ultimately going to lose the gun control battle. Because they can’t stop calling anyone who they think disagrees with them child murderers. When you do that people like me, who normally would be open for a discussion on gun control, completely shut you out. You’re obviously not interested in an adult conversation, and you’d rather just call people names. Pass.
One of these women is Leslie Hoffman:
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say she’s one of the old white ladies in the pussy hats. Nothing cliche about that at all. She’s smart enough not to list her employment (LOL) on Facebook, because if she did we would obviously flood her work with one star reviews as well. She’s trying to harm a local tax paying business that contributes to the local economy and provides a valuable service, because rules don’t apply to her and she can park wherever she wants.
Shockingly she’s one of these:
The turd in your Facebook feed who talks about politics 24/7.
Eric Cunha also left a one star review:
But once again, it’s hard to financially harm a starving artist who seems to never be employed. Unlike Greg’s Auto Repair, they provide nothing to the public. They are a plague and a scourge whose only purpose is to post hashtags and keep the flannel industry afloat.
The bottom line is that if you don’t wanna get towed, don’t park in people’s lots. Luckily supporters have flooded Greg’s with 5 star reviews so they’ve negated these butthurt hippy trespassers. Feel free to do the same.