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Charlotte tow truck driver defends business as lawmakers consider action after multiple WBTV Investigations

WBTV Investigates: David Satterfield has been accused of assaulting, pepper-spraying people he was towing
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 7:24 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte tow truck driver has been under the microscope of WBTV Investigates for years.

David Satterfield has been the subject in at least a half-dozen investigations.

He finally spoke to WBTV Investigative Reporter David Hodges on camera for the first time.

These investigations led lawmakers in Raleigh to consider action.

Related: Charlotte tow truck driver accused of pepper-spraying customer for third time

In 2020 N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein took Satterfield to court in and was granted an injunction against him for accusations of booting tractor-trailers that were delivering essential supplies during the pandemic.

WBTV has previously reported on complaint after complaint against Satterfield for things like assaulting people whose cars he was trying to tow, and price gouging during the pandemic.

But he’s hardly faced any consequences.

This time, though, a truck driver whose tractor-trailer was towed by Satterfield went to court to fight back.

More: Charlotte tow truck driver facing lawsuit revives old business

Satterfield, the towing company owner, told WBTV he wasn’t responsible when a court order was served on him for truck driver Nicholas Bedney to get his truck back.

Bedney, his attorney and three police officers, showed up at Satterfield’s Automobile Recovery and Parking Enforcement to retrieve his truck after a judge ruled that the truck was illegally booted and towed.

“You guys reported on David Satterfield before and I just wanted to let you know he’s still up to the same shenanigans,” Bedney told WBTV Investigates.

‘Up to the same shenanigans’: Charlotte tow truck driver subject of WBTV Investigations
‘Up to the same shenanigans’: Charlotte tow truck driver subject of WBTV Investigations(WBTV)

More: Charlotte tow truck driver facing assault charges for two pepper spraying incidents

WBTV previously reported on Satterfield for driving without a license and pepper-spraying people he was towing.

The N.C. Attorney General also filed a restraining order against Satterfield that prevented him from booting vehicles.

Related: Charlotte tow truck driver sued by Attorney General for price gouging during pandemic

However, that’s exactly what Bedney is accusing him of doing.

“As soon as he arrived, walked up to the door and asked for $3,000 and told me there was already a boot on the truck,” Bedney said.

More: Charlotte tow truck driver arrested for assaulting, pepper spraying trucker

Eventually, Bedney’s truck ended up at Satterfield’s lot.

But, there’s more to the story.

Satterfield said that Tip Towing is the one who actually towed the vehicle, and the company is leasing space from his lot.

Satterfield said he just happened to be nearby when it all happened.

“I went to Dino’s restaurant to get me some breakfast,” Satterfield told WBTV’s David Hodges. “They’re over there doing all this hand commotion, looked like it’s tensed up. I went over there to see what’s going on.”

Hodges asked, “So you just happen to be in the area at the time?”

“That’s right, I went, that’s exactly right,” Satterfield responded.

But Bedney claims Satterfield was involved from the start.

“So David Satterfield was the one who got out of the van, and he got out of the van at the park, in terms of him putting on the boot,” Bedney said.

WBTV spoke with Tip Towing owner Kristian Szendi who said “Satterfield is absolutely and unequivocally not associated with Tip Towing in any way shape or form other than we rent space to park trucks over there.”

“Nobody was more frustrated with the fact that he showed up than we were,” Szendi said.

After all of the reporting, WBTV has done on Satterfield, WBTV Investigates reached out to state legislators about whether more regulations are needed for tow truck drivers.

Charlotte State Representative Wesley Harris wrote: “I would certainly have the appetite to take a look at a potential regulatory framework to ensure that we have adequate consumer protection from predatory towing practices.”

“Additionally, per your reporting, it appears there is substantial evidence that there are some actions the state could take to better hold tow truck drivers and companies accountable for their actions, Harris wrote.

Senator Natasha Marcus, from Davidson, agreed.

Bedney got his truck back but Satterfield and Tip Towing claimed they didn’t have the keys so he had to tow it away.

Yet again, Satterfield said he isn’t in the wrong.

“I’ve got nothing to do with this other towing company other than leasing them a piece of property,” Satterfield said.

Hodges asked Satterfield if he is still towing vehicles.

“I’ve got my business, yes,” Satterfield said.

Hodges then asked, “You haven’t been in violation of the Attorney General’s order at all since then?”

“I’ve got nothing to say on none of that,” Satterfield responded. “My stuff tied up in court, OK?”

Both Bedney and Tip Towing agree that Bedney was parked in an unauthorized lot.

Tip Towing’s owner told WBTV Investigates that they offered Bedney several discounts to retrieve his truck.

The injunction Bedney used to get his truck back was recently dismissed because they did not use a sheriff’s deputy to serve the paperwork, so both sides are weighing their next move.

If you have a tip or complaint that you want WBTV to investigate, email our team at investigates@wbtv.com.

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