A naked Forsyth woman tried to drive her 2013 Hyundai Sonata off a tow truck on June 3 in a futile attempt to stop the 1 a.m. repossession of her vehicle.
The repo man, tow truck driver Austin Roberts, said they had been looking for a 2013 Hyundai Sonata, which belonged to 19-year-old Shakayia Whatley, for non payment for about three months. Whatley was originally from Arizona, said Roberts, but they finally found the car at a Freeman Avenue address. As Roberts loaded the vehicle onto his tow truck around 1:30 a.m., he saw a woman go into Whatley’s apartment to alert her. Roberts said Whatley ran outside naked, screaming and crying.
Roberts told Whatley if she would put some clothes on and give him the key, he would let her get her things out. So Whatley gave him a car key, wrapped herself in a blanket, and got inside her car on the tow truck. But then, said Roberts, Whatley told her dad and sister to move their cars parked behind the tow truck so she could drive off. She was also screaming that he couldn’t take the car because she has seen how it works on the TV show “Lizard Lick Towing”. Roberts said he told her that show is fake. Roberts told the Reporter she must’ve given him a dead key because she then cranked her car. But because of the tow truck, she was unable to move it. Meanwhile, Whatley’s family members surrounded the vehicle so Roberts dialed 911. Soon four Monroe County deputies and two Forsyth officers arrived to help.
After deputies asked her to exit the car numerous times, Whatley got out.
While deputies interviewed witnesses, a female witness yelled and cursed repeatedly while filming the incident on her phone. Deputies asked the female witness numerous times to step away and stop agitating the situation, warning her that if she didn’t return to her own apartment and continued to interfere then she would be arrested for disorderly conduct. Meanwhile, a male witness also came out of his apartment and was also instigating things.
Deputies then allowed Whatley to get her belongings out of her car. When Whatley and two other women continued yelling and arguing back and forth, Mercer gave Whatley 10 minutes to remove anything she needed from the car. Roberts then towed the car away.
“Everybody at that apartment complex seemed to be her friend,” said Roberts. “It was me versus their whole entire family.”
Roberts said they usually repossess cars from people not making payments at night because that’s when people are home. But he said the TV show “Lizard Lick Towing” hasn’t been good for repo men.
“It makes our job 1,000 times harder,” said Roberts. “People think they can do what they do on that show, and it’s just not true.”
Roberts said after a year doing the job this was the most difficult repossession he’s ever done. But Roberts, whose company is based in Byron, said local law enforcement did a great job defusing the situation.
Monroe County Deps. Yolanda Mercer and Paul Stewart, Sgt. Willie Brown and Cpl. Nicolas Ortiz and Forsyth Police officers Terrance Thomas and Kevin Powell responded to the standoff.