Being a repo man can be hazardous, but it landed Jose Rodriguez in jail, after he tried to repossess an NYPD detective's car in May.
"It's a wrongful arrest. It should've never happened," Rodriguez told NY1.
Now, four months later, the Staten Island district attorney's office agrees. It's decided to have all remaining charges against the repo man dismissed — proof, Rodriguez says, that the police never should have arrested him.
"I think they knew that they had nothing on me," he said. "Once they put the handcuffs on me, they knew they had to charge me with something…because it was an officer's car."
The NYPD declined to comment.
NY1 first reported how Rodriguez tried last May to tow a Nissan Maxima owned by a detective from the 120th Precinct. A bank wanted to take possession of the car because of three missed loan payments.
But officers surrounded the repo man, released the car from the tow, and arrested Rodriguez on a felony charge of possessing of stolen property. He spent more than 20 hours in jail before being released.
The felony was quickly dropped, but a handful of misdemeanors, including charges of falsifying business records and possessing police scanners, were not until the Staten Island DA had them dismissed last week after two hearings.
Still, Rodriguez says he is out thousands of dollars in earnings because the police placed a boot on his rig for nearly two weeks.
(Jose Rodriguez's tow truck on Staten Island. Photo courtesy of Rodriguez.)
Rodriguez says a GoPro camera he was wearing at the time of his arrest should have recorded the entire incident, but it was taken by police and when he got it back, there was no footage.
The repo man says, "They opened it up and they just erased it."
Rodriguez says he's already filed a notice of claim against the NYPD and two officers involved in the incident.
Meantime, the NYPD says its internal affairs bureau is still investigating to find out exactly what happened.