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Disabled Vet has car towed from handicapped space

Colorado lawmakers are currently reviewing towing laws
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Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 30, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — A disabled veteran visiting Colorado had his car towed this weekend.

He says it should have never been taken away, but the towing company disagrees.

"It's insane that the State of Colorado and these predatory towing companies' prey on people like me," said Ray Schmitt.

Ray Schmitt's car has Texas license plates that read "DISABLED VETERAN US ARMED FORCES."

"The VA says that car is eligible for handicapped parking, and it should be honored by every state," Schmitt says.

When he went to pick his car up from Midnight Recovery, he said he was told his plates are not valid for handicapped parking in Colorado. Over the phone the towing company told me there is a difference between "disabled veteran" and a "disabled veteran handicapped" and that federal law requires drivers must have handicapped plates or a placard to park in reserved parking spots.

"It was my assumption that I wasn't breaking any law by parking in that parking spot that was labeled disabled," said Schmitt.

He paid more than $350 to get his car back, but says it was not without a headache.

"She got really disrespectful and told me finally 'Look, we're closed, you're trespassing, get out,'" said Schmitt.

He's happy he was able to get his vehicle back before his trip ended, but he would like to see a change before the next time he comes to visit.

"I would hope that legislation would take into consideration that this is an unnecessary law that we have in the State of Colorado that won't honor all Veterans, no matter where they live from Alaska to Hawaii"

Colorado lawmakers are currently reviewing towing laws in our state. One of the changes they are considering is to require tow companies to get authorization from a property owner or apartment complex before making a non-consensual tow.