In the wee hours of the morning on June 7, about 3:50 a.m., Carlos Weeks was home at his apartment when he saw it: a tow truck hauling off his 2004 Lincoln Aviator, according to the narrative provided by the Dallas Police Department. "The vehicle was being towed for a parking violation," the DPD says, though the spokesman doesn't know what that parking violation was.
Other details of what exactly happened next are still under investigation. Police say Weeks somehow appeared on the drivers' side of the tow truck as it was already traveling down Cedar Plaza Lane. Then, "it appears that the victim lost his balance and fell," the DPD says. Weeks was run over by the left rear tires of the tow truck and died where he fell. He was 53.
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The driver has not been charged, because, at this point, police say his death appears to be an accident. "There was no evidence to indicate the victim was struck by the front portion of the tow truck," but only the back wheels, the police narrative says.
"On the summary we were given, it appeared as if the victim tripped and fell accidentally, so there's no crime that has occurred," a DPD spokesman explained on the phone, "so unless other information comes out to indicate otherwise, then no charges will be filed."
Still, his death raises more questions about the unnamed towing company's practices. Why was Weeks' car being towed from his own apartment complex for an unspecified "parking violation" at nearly 4 in the morning? Many apartment complexes in Dallas have an uncomfortably cozy relationship with towing companies, allowing tow truck drivers to aggressively patrol apartment parking lots in the middle of the night. The companies will take people's cars away for violations as minor as being "backed in" a parking space. The companies usually say they're trying to keep the parking lots safe, but for apartment residents, it appears that the real motivation is the payment, usually around $200, that the companies get from each person seeking to get their car back.
Earlier this year, in another towing-related death in Dallas, driver Mario Mercado from United Tows was looking for parking violations at the Flats at File Mile Creek Apartments at about 3 in the morning when he shot and killed Lance Lemons. Lemons, a probation officer, was sitting in the cab of Mercado's tow truck and driving it in reverse. The DPD has not charged Mercado for the shooting because they said he was protecting his property.