Exclusive: Wrecker battles Beaumont police over 392 tickets

The owner of a Beaumont wrecker company is accusing police of retaliating against him, for publicly opposing how the department has penalized his company.

Landry Rountree who owns Landry's Towing, said he's received 392 tickets stemming from four violations, which now total more than $145,000. Since receiving those tickets, Rountree has created a public display outside of his business, which he has named the "Wall of Summons."

"What you see on that fence is the result of me standing up to people that have tried to bully me," Rountree said.

Rountree said it all started after at least six officers showed up to his wrecker business in Nov. 2013 to inspect his towing licenses. He said he questioned the cops about why so many of them were there and as a result, he received three citations for being out of compliance with licensing to conduct his business and one for failing to show business records.

According to Rountree, those licenses had already been corrected and those types of infractions are common in the industry.

"I'm the only one I know of that's been singled out for this," Rountree said. "That's what I feel has happened, I've been singled out."

Beaumont police are defending their actions. Sgt. Rob Flores said a city ordinance allows them to cite wreckers for each day that they are not in compliance.

"This is not an instance of retaliation," Sgt. Flores said. "We investigated and found he was in violation of the regulations so that's what prompted the action, there's been no other case of someone coming forward saying another wrecker company is in violation."

In addition to these tickets, Rountree said he's having to pay an even bigger price. Landry's Towing is on a two year suspension, the maximum penalty, from all "non-consent" tows, which is an approved list of wreckers used by the City of Beaumont.

"He's not prohibited from doing business in the city he can do business in the city, he just can't respond to the crashes that occur on the city streets," Flores said.

Rountree said because of that suspension, he's lost nearly two-thirds of his business and it's affecting his family in more ways than one.

"Since then two of my daughters have had wrecks and I wasn't even allowed to pick up my own vehicles," Rountree said.
That family includes 14 children, some of whom he's hoping will one day take over the family business just like he did for his dad 34 years ago.

Ultimately Rountree said he's not angry with the entire police department, he simply wants to get before a judge so he can present his case and get back to business.

"I want to make very clear I'm not anti-government or anti-police," Rountree said, "but I am anti-bullying and I'm anti tyranny."


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