CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — The owner of a problem parking lot in uptown Charlotte wasted emergency life-saving resources by calling 911 to vent about a FOX 46 reporter “looking for a story.”
“This reporter he already wrote one story about it now he’s looking for a story,” said David Segmiller, the managing principal and director of the Charlotte architecture firm Perkins Eastman.
Segmiller cursed at FOX 46 reporter Matt Grant and threatened to sue if he didn’t “turn off” his camera. Then he slammed a door and called 911.
A month after FOX 46 reported on the lot at Sixth Street and Graham in uptown where many pharmacy customers are getting booted, we went back out there, after getting more complaints. We wanted to ask Segmiller why some signs in his parking lot are clear but others, meant to warn drivers they will be booted, are still obscured by bushes and written in faded paint.
Even one of his employees thinks something should change.
“It should be fixed,” an employee who didn’t want to give her name said. “Just go over it clearly (in new paint).”
The confusion stems from the fact that a CVS drive-thru pharmacy is located inside a private lot owned by Perkins Eastman. The complex houses a CVS, a Dunkin Donuts and Perkins Eastman. With few places to park, many CVS customers park behind the CVS next to the drive-thru pharmacy.
There are clear signs warning the lot is private and drivers will be booted. But some individual parking spaces aren’t very clear and many customers say are being booted by an aggressive tow company while picking up medicine.
“It’s very confusing,” one CVS customer said. “You can’t really tell where you can park.”
One viewer e-mailed to say they were forced to pay $100 cash.
“I’ve been working in uptown for 11 1/2 years…went into CVS and came outside less than 10 minutes later with a boot on my car,” the viewer wrote, including a photo of a receipt from Wheel Blockers.
The tow company has more than two dozen complaints with the Better Business Bureau, most for booting in spots not clearly labeled.
According to a police report from January, one person was so mad they kicked in the front glass door of Perkins Eastman causing $1000 in damage. The report did not say why.
While FOX 46 was out covering the story, an unmarked green car, believed to be with Wheel Blockers, was seen watching the lot from a distance. When FOX 46 approached the vehicle took off.
Towing and boot companies are required to identify their business on their vehicle.
When police arrived FOX 46 asked officers to take a look at the signs in the parking lot. While some are questionable, officers point to language in city code that says signs “may” be placed over parking spaces.
Since there are signs warning drivers they will be booted at both entrances, the lot legally checks out, officers said.
A reminder to pay attention where you park.
“We as employees…need to have places to park and our clients that come here,” the Perkins Eastman employee said. “We don’t want our clients riding all over the place trying to find parking when we have parking here and it clearly states Perkins Eastman clients only.”