Friday I went for a slice of pizza, and parked legally in front of the pizza store (located on Kings Highway between East 7th and 8th, for those locals interested). I was inside for less than a minute (enough time to walk in, ask for a slice, and leave with it) and came out to my light dangling, and the front left side of my car mushed…with no car in sight.
My first expression was disbelief, and thankfully some guy across the street called out to me “It was a truck, they just took off. I have video.” I went across to talk to him, and he sent me the few second video (that later I saw showed the truck leaving the scene), and I asked him for details.
He told me it had been a “Lucky Truck Rental” truck and that they had turned left at the corner.
With nothing to lose before I called the cops, I walked to the corner and looked down the block. Surprisingly, the truck was halfway down the block pulled over at a hydrant (what they had been trying to do when they hit me) while one person ran into a convenience store.
I approached the van (with my camera on and recording, of course), and saw a young(ish) kid behind the wheel, and I said:
Me: “You hit my car and left”
M: “You hit my car and left. That’s a hit and run. I’m calling the cops.”
D: “No, I’m sorry. Don’t call. I’ll pay cash.”
Meanwhile his coworker (henceforth known as C) had come back from the store, and they started talking in their native tongue.
Since I already had on tape his basic confession (with “I’m sorry” instead of “I don’t know what you are talking about”) as well as videoing his license plate, the address of the rental company, and his registration, plus the scuff marks on the vehicle, I figured I have nothing to lose, and told them to meet me at the collision place I use, just two blocks away.
When we got to the collision place C asked me not to film it…and I told him that I most certainly was going to film it.
While waiting for an estimate, D & C got a call from their boss (B) and they put me on the phone with him…he had the nerve to ask me:
B: “Can you let C and the van go to do a delivery. D will stay with you”
M: “No. If the truck leaves, I call the cops.”
The mechanic comes out and tells them that it’ll be expensive, around $2,000 to fix my car up to how it was before the accident.
I turned to D & C and asked them again:
M: “You sure you don’t want me to call the cops? This is what insurance is for. They’ll cover it.”
C: “No. We’ll pay for it.”
And so became a two+ hour of waiting…first for the Boss to show up, and then the haggling…
They wanted to pay $400 cash, and come back later to pay the rest. I told them they needed to pay it all before they left…and then came the laughable part when the boss turns to me and says:
B: “We’ll pay half now, and come back next week to pay the rest. Trust me.”
M: “Trust you? I lost all trust when he HIT AND RAN.”
The problem became that the boss wouldn’t put down a dime for his workers, and the two workers were both young and had not much more than starter debit cards…so when they’d go to the bank they were limited to just $400 withdrawal for the day.
They managed to scrounge most of the money together, between D & C, some cash and some on a credit card.
At this point I got all three of their licenses as collateral that they wouldn’t cancel the credit card and try to renege on their debts, and found out the real reason why they didn’t want the cops called…the driver was a teenager driving on his permit.
I gave the car in yesterday and will hopefully have it back within a day or two to the same status that it was Friday morning.
And if they cancel out that Credit Card…I’m sure the cops would be more than interested to see the video I have of them paying cash and agreeing to pay for the damages.