Irony Alert: Tow Company Owner's Car Towed Off After DWI Wreck Saturday

Now I know why I heard all those sirens early Saturday morning, then found a puddle of smashed glass at the Marsh and Merrill intersection not far from the house: DWI arrest! And, according to an excitable Avi Adelman, not just any DWI arrest but one apparently involving the owner of a controversial tow company, who was driving with a license that had been suspended in August of 2009.

I called Longhorn Wrecker on California Crossing to see if owner Ana Polanco was in. She's not -- won't be till tomorrow, said the woman who answered the phone. But if the name Longhorn sounds familiar, that's because, after several name changes, it's the same company that used to go by the Lone Star Auto Services moniker back when it was towing cars from lots 'round Fair Park back in '08 and making Mayor Tom very, very angry.

The police report -- in which Polanco says was coming from a party, where she started drinking at 4 a.m. and finished her fourth and final beer at 6 a.m. -- identifies Polanco's employer as Longhorn. She's much more, according to the state's licensing records from May of 2009, which list her as the owner.

Susan Stanford at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations tells Unfair Park there have been "a number of complaints filed against Longhorn" in recent months, and a search of the TDLR's Web site shows that Polanco and the tow company has been fined $8,000 in the past year for, among other things, refusing "to accept payment by electronic check, debit card, or credit card for the delivery or storage of a vehicle" and performing "a nonconsent tow" and taking the car somewhere other than the authorized location.

Stanford says Longhorn's license with the state could be in jeopardy if Polanco is found guilty of a felony. First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers tells Unfair Park the arrest would also affect its license with the city if she's convicted.

Correction: After spending two days trying to confirm what Avi first wrote, and what another source familiar with the towing licensing initially told me, Lone Star and Longhorn are not affiliated. The item has been amended to reflect that.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky