Dig Baton Rouge

“Looking for easy prey,” residents reeling from unfair game day towing

A bad situation was made much, much worse on Saturday when dozens of disgruntled LSU fans left the stadium after an embarrassing loss to Alabama only to discover their cars had been towed.

This is nothing out of the ordinary in Baton Rouge—especially on game days—but it’s something drivers are beginning to believe is unfair targeting.

Riverside Towing located at 953 River Rd is on the receiving end of many complaints lodged by residents for everything from “predatory towing,” to being a contributing factor in a breakup.

“They circle like vultures around the parking lots of Baton Rouge. They prowl like hunters up and down streets, looking for easy prey,” one student wrote in a 2014 Daily Reveille editorial. “They are the Riverside Towing fleet, and they have spoiled more than one LSU student’s day

The Advocate spoke with Catherine Pruitt, a freshman at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, who came to Baton Rouge for the weekend to visit her boyfriend at LSU.

Pruitt eventually became a victim of Riverside Towing’s hook.

While trying to retrieve her vehicle from the impound lot ($241 cash plus written consent from her mother who owns the vehicle), she missed the game. Her boyfriend chose to go without her which she told The Advocate was “the last straw” in their relationship.

And, of course, there’s the 2,882-member “Make Riverside Towing Pay” Facebook group where people can sound off about their qualms with the company.

“Predatory towing by Riverside Towing is a big problem in this town. It will not stop until the victims act,” the group’s description reads. “This group was formed after years of abuses by Riverside Towing. Here, we can share information about what Riverside Towing is doing so we can hold Riverside Towing accountable for its actions.”

A line of people retrieving their cars from the impound lot in 2015

Yelp doesn’t paint a much more favorable picture of Riverside Towing, either.

Read Kristen S.‘s review of Riverside Towing on Yelp

Read Barbie L.‘s review of Riverside Towing on Yelp

Read Devin L.‘s review of Riverside Towing on Yelp

Upon questioning from The Advocate, Riverside employees chose not to provide comments and would not divulge how many vehicles had been towed from the LSU-area over the weekend.

The employees also banished a reporter from the property accusing them of harassing their customers.

Riverside Towing has contracts with multiple apartment complexes near Tiger Stadium to remove illegally parked cars but it is unclear if their towing decision are at request of the property owners or their own.

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