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Driver from the $800 Capitol Hill tow charged with DUI, hit and run

Turns out the truck and driver in this April crash into an apartment building on the Belmont-Roy curve have both been in the news before.

The 25-year-old driver from the incident has been charged with one count of DUI and one count of hit and run following a Saturday night crash on April 21st in which police say his pick-up truck failed to negotiate the tight turn while heading up Belmont to Roy and crashed into the base of an apartment building. There were no serious injuries and the man was taken into custody a short distance from the scene.

Earlier this year, the driver — and his truck — gained notoriety for a $800 tow when his vehicle was parked at a Capitol Hill apartment complex. A judge subsequently tossed the bill out but not before the incident brought to light some of the more distasteful practices of the Seattle towing industry and gained citywide attention.

The driver has pleaded not guilty to the DUI and hit and run charges. He will return to court in July for a pre-trial hearing.

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zeebleoop
8 years ago

maybe he can have danny westneat write an article about how our local dui laws are too strict and unfair. seems like he’s “not guilty” of at least a couple of his own personal decisions that impact others; and shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences.

upd
upd
8 years ago

Ha! You beat me to this one, will the local media outlets help it out of this one with extensive coverage and bleeding hearts? So fun.

js
js
8 years ago

just because he did something (very) wrong in this instance doesn’t mean he was any less hosed in the towing situation.

the boss
8 years ago

That’ll cost you more than $800, dawg.

benjammin509
8 years ago

The dude is still a private figure (at least for non-towing issues). I understand the information is publicly available, but this article would not exist if this guy wasn’t connected to the towing thing (which DUI is not connected to). CHS is better than mere gossip and embarrassment, imo.

shanedphillips
8 years ago

Hopefully people don’t connect this incident with the exorbitant towing costs in this area and decide that it’s not a legitimate complaint because the guy apparently kind of sucks. The towing fees really are ridiculous. Back when I used to drive I was towed twice in a 6 month period and in neither case did I realize I was parked illegally (both cases at apartment complexes in Everett/Lynnwood), and that was only about $300 each. I can’t imagine how angry I would be to have to pay such a huge amount of money over a simple mistake like failing to notice a sign.

zeebleoop
8 years ago

um, i’m assuming you’re new here, chs routinely reports on vehicular accidents on the hill; especially those involving a vehicle driving into a building. this article isn’t unique. what is unique is the connection between one man and two stories.

benjammin509
8 years ago

It was timely reported in early April, when the accident occurred. The only reason it is here now, months later, is to highlight this guy’s involvement. Just seems a little gossipy for me.

Andy
8 years ago

This guy is accused of a serious crime. According to the charges, he did substantial property damage and his recklessness could have seriously hurt or killed a pedestrian. This is absolutely newsworthy and I’m glad to have a local news’blog that reports this sort of information.

The attitude that drunk driving is not a serious crime, so it shouldn’t be covered as such, sends exactly the wrong message and costs lives.

jseattle
8 years ago

Benjammin — I definitely gave this a lot of thought before posting. I can’t say what the decision would have been if there hadn’t been a crash we’d already covered — but given the crash, the notoriety of Swanicke and the fact that both situations allegedly involve his vehicle, I felt it was worth sharing here on CHS.

calhoun
8 years ago

Thw two incidents are not related and he needs to be judged on what happened with each. In the first one, when he was guilty of parking illegally (as he admitted), he got the towing charge cancelled on a technicality…claimed that the “no parking” sign was obscured by a tree….ha!

In the most recent, DUI incident, the legal process will determine his guilt and fate. Maybe karma is at work here.

calhoun
8 years ago

It’s irrelevant that you “didn’t realize” you were parked illegally. You break the law, you have consequences.

Yes, towing charges are inflated and the law in this area needs to be changed, to make them more reasonable, but please don’t use this as a reason to play the victim. $300?…..you got off easy.

BenE
8 years ago

This accident was already covered in April, so why are we hearing about it again? Is this really worthy of being disseminated on what is billed as Community news for all the Hill?

Sure crimes of this type are serious and deserve coverage. Sure it’s interesting that this guy is the same as the illegal parker from before. Sure the two are completely unrelated incidents.

NO This Didn’t Happen Recently And Shouldn’t Be Posted As News.

upd
upd
8 years ago

My car has NEVER been towed in the 20 years I have lived here. Don’t park illegally, don’t get towed. Period. Excuses are futile if you really think about it.

upd
upd
8 years ago

I appreciate knowing about this, no matter what the timing. Ben, you can go away or not read if you feel that strongly about it.

shanedphillips
8 years ago

Congratulations, you must be better at parking than me. I’d have happily paid the cost of a parking ticket for the mistake, but paying $300 dollars because of a simple mistake is ludicrous. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a punishment, because in my case despite the signage being very secluded it did exist, but the cost as well as the hassle is way out of proportion to the “crime”.