Then, as he was about to pull out and head to headquarters, he was boxed in by a pickup that was driven by an off-duty sergeant from the NYPD. The owner of the Altima also showed up and it turns out that he too was a cop. The cop offered Rodriguez to make all the back payments on the spot, but the tow truck driver apologized, saying the matter was out of his hands: once a car is logged in and loaded, it’s officially the bank’s property.
And that’s when the off-duty cops proceeded to arrest Rodriguez. They took his cameras and his phone and laptop, got into the Altima and drove off. Another cop cuffed Rodriguez and hauled him to the station, where he’d spent the next 20 hours on a felony charge.
Rodriguez was initially charged with possession of stolen property, but the charge mysteriously disappeared when he was arraigned: this time, he was charged with falsifying documents and possession of police scanners, which are misdemeanors. He still maintains he’s innocent.
“The only reason why this happened was because this was a police officer's car. That's the only reason why,” he says for the media outlet. Rodriguez has lawyered up and plans to sue the NYPD.
Contacted for comment, the NYPD says that an investigation was launched after “a male victim stated to police that an unlicensed tow truck was in possession of his vehicle without authorization.” They don’t even acknowledge that the victim was a police officer.