By Andrew Caplan and Daniel Smithson
State Attorney Bill Cervone announced Wednesday that he wouldn’t prosecute University of Florida football player Lamical Perine for a battery against a tow truck driver stemming from a May 7 incident.
The Sun obtained a video of the incident Thursday that shows Perine outside in his underwear confronting the Superior Towing truck driver, as the driver prepares to tow Perine’s mother’s car.
Perine, a senior from Mobile, Alabama, uses vulgar language and slurs toward the man. At one point, Perine walks over and grabs the man’s shoulder, who turns, swinging a tire strap with a hook that was in his hand. A woman attempts to de-escalate the situation by telling the Perine to stop and go inside.
Perine then threatens to fight the drivers and urges them to call the cops, adding “cops know me (expletive).”
Perine was not arrested.
Superior Towing, reached late afternoon Thursday, would not make anyone available for comment.
Perine led the Gators in rushing last season with 826 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for more than 100 yards in wins over Vanderbilt and Florida State.
According to a news release from Cervone’s office Wednesday, there was a dispute over how much was owed to keep the vehicle from being towed. Perine was leaving to get money when the tow truck driver became “verbally confrontational” with Perine’s girlfriend and began to hook up the vehicle.
None of that is seen on the video, which can be seen at bit.ly/2YWTwVy.
The news release describes Perine’s touching of the driver as “brief and light,” more a tactic to get the driver’s attention than anything else.
Lol @ “Superior” Towing. They are among the biggest scams in Gainesville. Take a look at their Google Reviews. They have 1.5 stars from 179 reviews — and that is with some OBVIOUSLY fake 5-star reviewers and one reviewer that logged on to berate everyone else and give the company 5 stars without actually giving us their experience with the company. Another 5-star reviewer (the only one that used appropriate English) said he needed a tow and luckily a friend had recently given him their card — because people randomly carry and pass around cards for a tow company.
These guys regularly tow people from parking lots while the customer is using a business that the parking lot serves. If your insurance calls them for a tow (never, ever use them voluntarily) they refuse to give an appropriate arrival estimate. It is always “10 minutes”, no matter if it is 45 minutes or 2 hours. Their go-to excuse for their horrible reputation is that people are just angry about being towed. Wrong. There are other tow companies in town and they don’t have similarly horrible reviews. I personally did not have a particularly poor experience with them. I got towed for a legitimate reason and when I do dumb things I just accept the consequences. I walk in there, ask to pay and get my car, and then the receptionist was just rude for absolutely no reason. They all just hate their customers and regularly act like thugs.
I read somewhere that right before this video started, Perine was going inside to get money when the tow person said something rude to his girlfriend that set him off. I do not find that hard to believe at all. Now, obviously, Perine needs to learn to keep his cool. He is lucky he has a strong woman that de-escalated him (keeper). With that said, this company needs to be reigned in and all the people that have fraud-like experiences with them need to compile their evidence and use official means to hold them accountable. Maybe a law school student should start a FB page for documenting their misdeeds.
In the video, I didn’t perceive Perine as the aggressor. It was the driver who took a violent swung with a strap at Perine. If the strap had connected, I believe the driver would have been persecuted for battery. Now the company should fire the driver. I don’t think they want the liability of an employee taking violent swings at people while on the clock short of in self defense. That did not seem like like in self defense to me because Perine didn’t approach him in a threatening way or aggressive tone in his voice, perhaps the driver felt threatened for whatever reason.
From what I saw, you are absolutely correct, Sly. Seems to me like the driver was hellbent to tow their car rather than get paid what ever was owed to the company. Turned his back on Perine, who touched him to get his attention and the driver overreacted, maybe because he realized Perine was on the football team. Or maybe he’s just sensitive.
Now can we please have no more incidents this summer?
Totally agree Sly
I am biased in favor of Mt Perrine so I don’t have a lot to say here about the driver of the tow truck, but I hope the NCAA will consider this in it’s decisions about player payment. We don’t seem to be paying guys since a lot of the trouble has been transportation, laptops and otherore basic things. I guess other programs have better ways of keeping things like this from being a problem
I read about this shady tow company in St. Pete that made a deal with this guy looking for easy money. The guy, a huge Rays fan, found an empty parking lot with the entranced chained and posted private property. Cars will be towed at owner’s expense. He cut the lock odd the chain, put on a Yankees hat and made a sign that said “Parking: Rays fans $20, Yankee fans $15. When the game was underway and his lot filled with Yankee fans’ cars, he pocketed the parking fees and called his tow truck buddy and would split the towing fees with him after they emptied the lot.