The NYPD Tow Yard
While in Manhattan over the weekend, I parked illegally (by mistake) and was towed. As luck would have it, I just happened to look up and notice the tow truck towing my car as I was finishing up my shopping. I broke into a very fast run… in my newly purchased an hour earlier Mephisto Shark Sandals.
I felt like the cop in the classic movie scene, running across moving traffic, pointing at cars to let me cut in front of them (not unlike my driving) and, as I reached the other side of Broadway, I leaned into the turn as I ran faster to follow the NYPD tow truck.
Suddenly, in a sort of surreal slow motion as though I were watching myself in a movie, my fast, angled run turned into a sideways skid, flop and thud. My left knee skidding across asphalt followed by my chin and finally, my nose smacking flat into the curb.
Without a pause and with passersby at a full stop, staring at what must have looked to be a seriously injured person, I jumped back up and began running (like T2) after quickly picking up one sandal that had been torn from my right foot and my wallet a few feet away. This may have been more adrenaline than embarrassment but there was a nanosecond of “did anyone see me do that” as soon as I realized I was still conscious and started chasing the tow truck again.
Running (now, in one sandal), I saw the NYPD tow truck was stuck behind a line of cars. It was obvious that he was not going to move in the next 30 seconds. I had him! Now all I had to do was talk to the guy and get my car back. I shouted, “Hey, that’s my car!”
He looked over and his facial expression became quite serious as he said, “Oh, I’m sorry I made you run” and he handed me a handful of paper napkins. My upper and lower teeth had cut the insides of my lips, my nose was dripping blood and I had a laceration on my chin.
So, I asked him to let me have my car. He couldn’t. Once the towing has commenced, the car has to be processed.
I asked what I had done wrong. I was only gone for an hour. I thought, after looking at dozens of parking signs, that this one, like many others read “No Standing 7-4” but, as it turns out, this one had actually read, “No Standing 4-7” and I had parked there at around 4:08. I thought I was so lucky when I found that spot!
I had been on my way to meet up with a friend and head over to NJ for dinner, so I put my other sandal back on and almost fainted, then I called him. No answer. I sent a text message and started walking.
After only half a block, I came across a police precinct. A Lieutenant was standing in the doorway, so I walked up to him and he asked if he could help me with something.
Sweating, wiping away the remaining blood and still very out of breath, I relayed a surprisingly calm and objective account of what had just occurred. I mentioned that I was in some pain and was unsure where the tow yard was or how to get there and asked for a ride. He said he would give me a ride over but I would have to wait a while.
It was more than a half hour later that I finally reached my friend. I was still in the precinct, waiting for my ride to the tow yard. My friend said the exact thing had happened to him (the towing, not the face flop) and that he knew how to get to the tow yard. I told the Lieutenant thanks but no thanks for the ride and walked to my friend’s job site.
I got in his car and drank a Red Bull as he drove us to the tow yard. $185 and about 15 minutes later, I had my car. I still have a $115 ticket to pay, so this was a $300 mistake.
My foot pain ended up being a broken (swollen, black and purple) little toe and twisted ankle (no swelling just pain). My nose still hurts but seems unbroken. My teeth are intact and I only bit my fat lip once at lunch today. My chin looks like I was attacked multiple times by a dull razor shaving. I have road rash on my right hand, left leg, knee and arm.
And I (still) Love New York