Sam’s Towing owner claims innocence after illegal towing arrest; Bridgeport lawmakers thank police

City Councilwoman Maria Pereira and Fireside residents also held their own news conference to thank police for taking action.

News 12 Staff

Aug 6, 2023, 4:42 PM

Updated 296 days ago

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A Bridgeport business owner who was arrested on Friday for allegedly towing vehicles illegally declared his innocence on Sunday during a news conference.
City Councilwoman Maria Pereira said in the fall that Big Sam's Roadside Service owner Samuel Saunders was towing vehicles illegally from Fireside Apartments.
Those allegations resulted in his arrest on charges including vendor fraud, operating without a wrecker license and charging excessive wrecker rates.
Saunders, his supporters and his attorney Dennis Bradley held a news conference to say he is “100% innocent."
"The bottom line is I was legally contracted by Bridgeport Housing Authority to remove cars off of private property. That's what I did. I reported every single car to Bridgeport PD,” said Saunders.
"We're forced to defend against bogus political accusations against a man who has given blood, sweat and tears to not only support his family, but to be a vital member of our community,” said Bradley.
Pereira and Fireside residents also held their own news conference to thank police for taking action.
"Now, our expectation is that Park City Communities Housing Authority, who illegally gave this gentleman a contract to tow here on private property when he had no such license from DMV to do so, needs to make every resident here whole,” she said. "Apologize profusely. Make these people whole. Refund the money that they were fleeced to get their own stolen vehicle back -- and just make sure it doesn't happen again."
Pereira says the monetary amount is $4,700.
"This is the first step to getting justice for the people that were victimized here at Fireside. These are our seniors, our veterans, our disabled who were extorted out of money,” said John Gomes.
"Nobody will come and visit me. They're worried about their cars being towed, even though there hasn't been any towing. They worry about that. The health care aids, they worry about that. They don't even want to come here,” said 93-year-old resident Jesse Lynch.
Pereira says she will be pressing the housing authority to "do the right thing."  Meanwhile, Saunders says he looks forward to proving his innocence.
Housing officials released the following statement on Sunday night:
"Park City Communities has been made aware of the recent charges filed against Sam's Towing for vendor fraud, among other offenses. We have forwarded this information to our general counsel for legal advisement. PCC will continue to be a cooperative participant as all parties move through this process."


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