Wednesday, Caitlin Landry showed News 3 her gasoline purchase receipt for $51.27 at the Rattlers on Holleman Drive in College Station. It was a reprint she said she requested from the gas station clerk after Caitlin's vehicle was towed Monday.
"As I was pumping, I went in to get food. I was being towed as I was inside, it made me angry," said Landry.
Landry said gasoline was still being pumped into her vehicle when she went inside a Subway located next to Rattler's. She said she ran outside when she noticed the tow truck driver removed the gas nozzle from her vehicle to ask him why her vehicle was being towed.
"He said it was illegal to leave your car unattended while pumping gas," said Landry.
News 3 contacted the College Station Police Department and a spokesperson says they are not aware of a Texas law that says it's illegal to leave a vehicle unattended while pumping gas. News 3 also contacted Kolkhorst Petroleum, the company that operates Rattlers and contracts with Roadrunners Towing and Recovery Service. A Kolkhorst spokesperson says they are not aware of any such law either, and they would not have provided that type of information to Roadrunner. A spokesperson also added if it's found any of the tow truck companies it contracts with are found to do anything wrong, they are not allowed back on the gas station's property.
Meanwhile, Caitlin believes she was scammed into paying the tow truck driver $40 to release her vehicle after he claimed she was breaking the law. Rattlers has signs posted warning customers to move their vehicles away from gas pumps when at Wendy's or Subway. The signs also read "Fuel Parking Only" and "Tow Away Zone," and Caitlin says she was not in the wrong.
"I saw the sign that said don't park here if you're going to the Wendy's or Subway, but I was buying gas. I was a customer so I technically wasn't parked, and as I ran in it was still pumping so I figured it would be okay," said Landry.
Kolkhorst Petroleum says what happened to Landry is an unfortunate incident following four years of attempts to accommodate all customers. The spokesperson says the Rattlers location on Holleman only has two diesel fuel pumps, and complaints from diesel patrons prompted the company to post signs at the gas station. The spokesperson says diesel patrons claimed non-fueling customers were parking at the pumps to get food at Wendy's and Subway. Complainants were claiming non-fueling people were blocking diesel pumps for up to 30 minutes during the busy lunch hour. The spokesperson also said the company has received complaints about people pulling up to the pump, pretending to get gas by simply placing the gas nozzle in their vehicle and getting something to eat.
The company is in the process of reviewing surveillance video from the day of Landry's towing incident. Meanwhile, Landry has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau against Roadrunner. She has also posted her comments on Craigslist, and has found she is not the only one who experienced a similar towing incident at that particular Rattlers. Landry says what happened to her is a matter of right and wrong.
"If you're really not doing something wrong and you're getting in trouble for it, it's not right. People shouldn't have consequences for not doing something wrong," said Landry.
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