Charlotte tow truck driver facing assault charges for two pepper spraying incidents
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Last November, Cheryl Childs heard her son arguing with someone in the parking lot and went outside to see what was happening.
"I said 'Are you supposed to be here?' and his response was 'I can be anywhere I want'," Childs said.
A police report shows the man arguing with her son was David Satterfield. Satterfield owns Automobile Recovery and Parking Enforcement, a tow service company in Charlotte.
Childs says Satterfield started shining a flashlight in her eyes.
"I moved his hand like that just a gesture like that and said 'don't shine that in my eyes it's not necessary' and I couldn't even get the whole sentence out before he sprayed me," Childs said.
Satterfield is facing an assault charge for pepper spraying Childs.
"I don't wish that on anybody. It's the worst. burning," Childs said.
Not even a month later Satterfield was accused of pepper spraying someone else. This time it was someone he was towing. He's now facing a second assault charge.
“When I pulled his rap sheet. It was long,” attorney Joe Culik said.
Culik represents Mark Pfeister, a truck driver who sued Satterfield after being towed from a Walmart parking lot.
Court records show Satterfield has 13 felony convictions as of 2017. Sixteen times he's been convicted of driving offenses including DWI and driving while his license is revoked.
He's only been charged once for violating Charlotte's towing ordinance. Three separate times since 2016 CMPD officers cited him for violating state statutes in relation to his company but the District Attorneys office dismissed all three cases.
In North Carolina criminal convictions don't stop someone form being a tow truck driver.
"There seems to be very little regulating tow truck drivers," Culik said.
"The City of Charlotte has no specific licensing requirement. The state of North Carolina has no specific requirement other than having a commercial driver's license. So it's sort of a free for all out there.
But Satterfield told WBTV he doesn’t have a commercial driver’s license. He wouldn’t talk on camera but, in a phone call, said “No I don’t have a commercial driver’s license. I don’t drive. That’s why I have people on payroll.”
Numerous people WBTV spoke to in his ongoing legal cases say they saw Satterfield driving a tow truck.
Satterfield told wbtv in both cases where he's facing assault charges he was being attacked first. He said there is nothing illegal about his business and that "if i'm doing something wrong take me to court."
A CMPD spokesperson emailed WBTV and said that generally officers ask for identification at a scene but theyt can’t confirm officers have in every case involving Satterfield.
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