Man acquitted in Michigan trooper's wrongful death stuck with $26K tow bill

Charles Warren found not guilty in death of Trooper Chad Wolf

By Jermont Terry - Reporter

PONTIAC, Mich. - The man acquitted in the death of Trooper Chad Wolf is now caught up in a new legal battle.

Last week, Charles Warren was cleared of reckless driving and leaving the scene of the accident that killed Wolf.
Now he's being asked to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get his vehicle back.

Warren's car and trailer are stored at Area Towing lot in Taylor. They've been there since the 2015 accident. But when Warren tried to get his car back, he was slapped with a bill of more than $26,000.

Last week, a jury acquitted Warren in the wrongful death of Wolf. The jury found Warren accidentally hit the trooper, knocking him off his police motorcycle before dragging him for miles on his Volkswagen and trailer.
"You can't force him to accept a bill of $26,000," Warren's attorney, Neil Rockind, said.

But that's what expected. Area Towing's receipt shows it charged Warren for the original tow and a storage fee of $40 a day for 644 days. Rockind argues Warren has no responsibility for that fee.

"People who are acquitted of crimes -- found not guilty -- are released of any all obligations associated with their case," Rockind said.

Rockind said Area Towing believes the law is on their side, citing a statute where a reasonable storage fee falls on the car's owner.

Local 4 News reporter Jermont Terry went to the towing company to get their take on the bill but wasn't allowed inside.

He was told to call the owner, and did, but got no answer or response.

For now, it's seems Warren's legal battle isn't over. The question now is: Is the legal system going to protect someone who was acquitted of a crime?

Rockind filed a motion Wednesday asking the court to dismissed the fees, but each day the car and trailer sit at the lot, the invoice continues to climb.

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