Black Denies Any Ties To Wrecker Firm Charging "Astonishing" Fees Despite Girlfriend, Brother, His Own Involvement

  • Thursday, May 23, 2024

The operator of a local towing company who has multiple ties to another towing firm that is under scrutiny for "astonishing charges" denies that he has any affiliation with Chattanooga Impound.

Aaron Black said, "Chattanooga Impound and American Tow & Recovery are two independently owned companies with no affiliation with one another." He said a report by Chattanoogan.com of an "unsettling incident" a former Nashville TV producer had with Chattanooga Impound "is the second or third occurrence that American Tow & Recovery/myself have been targeted and a repeat victim of defamation/slander on public record with live coverage open to the public eye. I take tremendous pride in the company I have built and stand firmly on the fact that American Tow & Recovery is being targeted/victimized while abiding by any and all ordinances set forth by the city of Chattanooga."

He added, "American Tow & Recovery's side of the story is we have no side. We had no involvement with said incident and we have no affiliations with Chattanooga Impound whatsoever."

Except he was present at Chattanooga Impound last Oct. 1 and took over $300 cash from the producer. (He later returned it after Corrine Gould and her male friend filmed the incident on a visible cellphone in a shirt pocket, cited the city ordinance on wrecker charges and insisted on getting a receipt.)

Except that Chattanooga Impound's business license was issued to Karissa Elizabeth Graham, Black's girlfriend/financee. Ms. Graham's Facebook page in one posting features the emblem of American Tow & Recovery.

Except that Black's brother, Nolan Caylor, is one of the managers at Chattanooga Impound and counted the cash that Ms. Gould handed over.

Chattanooga Impound maintains that it can charge whatever it wants since the city ordinance on wreckers applies only to those on the rotation call list, and it is not on the list.

A number of local residents and out-of-town visitors have been dismayed when they arrive at the Chattanooga Impound lot and learn the charges they are facing.

Ms. Gould, a former Spring City resident who is now assistant commissioner for public affairs for the state Agriculture Department, said she is sure the man she gave the money to is Gregory Aaron Black, though she said he identified himself as Gregory Johnson.She said photos taken from their video match that of Aaron Black. She said one identification mark on both photos was a large right arm tattoo.

She said Chatanooga Impound signs at Walmarts and other locations do not comply with city ordinance for wreckers on the tow rotation. She said the signs do not tell the location where the vehicle can be picked up, do not include the charge, do not include the form of payment, and are only visible from one direction at the Brainerd Walmart.

Ms. Gould said the invoice and fees charged do not comply with city ordinance for wreckers on the tow rotation.

She said in her case the invoice exceeded the maximum charge allowed by $175 and exceeded the storage fee allowed by $10. She said a towing fee was charged her even though she notified the lot within 12 hours of being towed.

Ms. Gould said Chattanooga Impound's vehicle release time does not comply with city ordinance for wreckers on the tow rotation.

She said, "It is unfortunate that this tow company is giving Chattanooga a bad name and giving reputable wrecker companies a black eye as well."

Ms. Gould said she has contacted members of the City Council, asking them "to close a giant loophole in the city wrecker ordinance."

She said she heard back only from Vice Chair Jenny Hill, who said the city is looking into the issue..

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