Car sharing services are becoming more popular, but one Seattle resident is holding a Mercedes CLA from car2go hostage.
According to KIRO 7, someone illegally parked the car in front of Dan Smith’s house on May 17th. He rents out the building and one of his tenants, Asad Rasheed, told the station this happens fairly often as there’s limited parking on the street.
Smith attempted to have the car towed, but was reportedly shot down by three different companies. According to the Associated Press, one of the companies refused on the grounds that there was no sign indicating the parking spot was private property and violators would be towed.
Smith eventually reached out to the company that operates car2go, Share Now, and told them they had two hours to move the vehicle. The company failed to comply, so Smith built a makeshift barrier around the CLA.
If that wasn’t bizarre enough, Smith is reportedly demanding that Share Now pay $300 (£237 / €267) for the barricade and $65 (£51 / €58) a day for storage fees. He also wants up to $500 (£395 / €445) for so-called “harassment fees” because Rasheed has been bothered by car2go customers attempting to retrieve the vehicle.
That’s a pretty bold move and one that Share Now sees as extortion. In a statement to the AP, the company said “We will not allow anyone acting with ulterior motives, including anyone attempting to extort our business by holding our property illegally, to prevent us from providing transportation to the citizens of Seattle.” However, Share Now extended an olive branch by saying they would like to resolve the issue without taking legal action.
The standoff still appears to be continuing, but Smith told the AP that he’d remove the barrier if police tell him too.