Police Reviewing Unenforced 1974 Tow Truck Rules Following Driver's Murder

May 8, 2012 Updated May 8, 2012 at 11:21 PM EDT

By John Borsa

...
May 8, 2012 Updated May 8, 2012 at 11:21 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Buffalo Police Department officials said Tuesday that the city will review a nearly 40-year-old ordinance which regulates how tow truck drivers operate in the Queen City.

The review comes just days after a tow truck driver was shot to death in the city.

Corddaryl Henley, 25, was gunned down while driving a tow truck. He was dropping off a vehicle at the time of the incident last Saturday.

Police will not speculate on a motive, but other tow truck drivers believe heated competition between tow companies may have something to do with Henley's death.

Currently, tow truck drivers operate on a first come, first serve basis. Several drivers will respond to automobile accidents to compete for a tow.

Occasionally, the response of multiple drivers can lead to heated arguments and even violence over business, said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

Derenda said the city will explore a 1974 ordinance which assigns private tow truck companies to zones. Companies would rotate responses.

"Well I can tell you in the 40 years that it's been on the books, I don't believe one police commissioner has put a policy in place," Derenda said, adding that it would be difficult to enforce the decades old rule.

You have a lot of companies out there," he said. "To divide the city up -- again -- it's something that we're going to look at.

The competition between tow truck drivers in Buffalo was documented in a reality television show pilot called Tow Truck Cowboys, which is available on YouTube.

Employees of Jim Mazz Towing discuss the "chess game" involved in securing business and beating out competitors.

Today, Jim Mazz Towing owner James Mazzariello released the following statement:

"It would be misleading to the public to criminalize our industry based on a singular and isolated incident considering our impeccable legacy as not only recovery specialists; but first responders and community servants."

Police ask anyone with information on Henley's death to call or text the Confidential Tip Line at (716) 847-2255.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.