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Lot Rage Becomes a Burning Issue

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On: Sat, May 24, 2014 at 9:00AM | By: Karen Cook

Lot Rage Becomes a Burning Issue

Strange things happen at dealerships. Even though it is a place of business, it is an emotionally charged atmosphere. Whether it is elation at buying a first car or heartbreak at not being able to obtain financing on that dream vehicle, feelings run high. I’ve worked at several dealerships and so has my husband. Some buyers want to blame salespeople or management for being denied a car loan. Some want revenge. My husband was “cursed” once for not being able to sell a car to a customer. She was very upset and came back later in the day with a chicken claw. She stood in front of the dealership waving it and chanting until she was escorted off the property by the police.

Rock Bottom Auto Sales in Hudson, Florida suffered far worse from one of its disgruntled customers. Last month Patrick Tillery, 43, purchased a vehicle that subsequently did not make him happy. He returned to the dealership and threatened the owner. After the lot closed, he came back with a brick and a gas can and proceeded to take his anger out on the inventory. After breaking a surveillance camera with a brick, he broke the windshield of a Corvette and lit a Nissan Frontier on fire. A few minutes later he moved on to the dealership’s second location where he set a Toyota 4Runner flaming.

He returned home, but the police had already been alerted and found him there. The encounter ended in a “shoot-out” in the hallway which left Tillery dead. No officers were injured, nor were Tillery’s wife and children, who were in the house at the time. Tillery had a criminal record before this incident encompassing 13 arrests. One of them was for vehicle theft. It seems likely that his wife will also have a record now since she lied to police, telling them her husband was not home when they came to the door.


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