NEW ORLEANS -- A convenience store that booted a working New Orleans EMS ambulance last week is not licensed in the city of New Orleans, according to a city spokesman.
But the question now is, will the city enforce its booting regulations on the convenience store?
“There's signs posted all over the property. We work basically with the city. You understand me? Because people park illegally,” said Ali Colone, a worker at Quicky’s convenience store, located at the intersection of Tulane Avenue and Broad Street
Signs posted around Quicky’s property say drivers who leave their cars on the property will be booted by “Bootman, Inc.”
“On the bottom of this immobilization form, I guess, it lists Bootman, Inc.,” said Mark Avery, the owner of a local private investigation company.
One of his investigators was booted while still inside her van at Quicky's in September and she said even the phone number they gave her inside Quicky's for Bootman, Inc. is bogus.
“Well, I call the phone number and the guy right there answers the phone,” said the booted private investigator, Akesha Allen.
“We believe they just copied our tag. It looks like the same thing. Or they may have just hired someone to make a tag,” said Benny Sanchez, a vice president of Premier Parking Enforcement, the parent company of Bootman, Inc.
Sanchez said Tuesday that Bootman, Inc. has have nothing to do with Quicky's.
“We do not want our names associated with it in any way. We've actually hired an attorney about eight or nine months ago when we first found out they were doing this,” Sanchez said.
He also said they get two to three complaints a month about Quicky's because people think Bootman, Inc. is involved.
Right now, Bootman, Inc. is the only booting service company licensed by the city of New Orleans. Because of that, they are forced to follow the letter of the law, including a maximum booting fee of $90, signage requirements, and even time requirements that they have to respond to a booted customer.
Sanchez said he hopes Quicky’s will have to follow the same rules.
Press Secretary for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Ryan Berni, issued this statement about the situation:
“A private business can boot vehicles as long as it is a booting service business. That business would need to be licensed with the city of New Orleans. Even with a license, a booting service is prohibited from booting any marked emergency vehicle. Quicky’s convenience store is not operating as a licensed booting service. What happened last week was unacceptable. The city is reviewing its enforcement options."