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Frustration mounts after cars towed from vacant theater lot in Shelbyville

Customers of Cattleman's Roadhouse who parked in an adjacent lot found themselves being towed and charged up to $500 to get cars back.

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. — After a group of people found their cars being towed from an empty lot Saturday night, they took to Facebook in hopes of getting help.

The incident started in the lot adjacent to the Cattleman’s Roadhouse on Breighton Circle in Shelbyville.

Cassandra Gray and her family were eating at the restaurant while their cars were parked in the old Great Escape parking lot along with three RV’s. When they walked out, they were surprised to see each of their cars being towed. 

Why? For parking illegally.

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They were shocked, telling WHAS11 News they had always parked in the empty lot for years if Cattleman’s was overflowed. There is a sign banning semis and trailers from parking in the lot, but there was no visible indication that passenger vehicles were also prohibited from parking there.

Car owners were charged $350 to get their cars off the rigs while some were even charged $500. An angry, frustrated and confused Gray and her family members are asking the owner of the theatre why.

“In Shelby County, we are just a friendly county everyone pretty much supports everyone and as a business owner myself, it is just good business to talk to one another. We don't call the tow or the law - we talk to each other and try to figure it out, but that didn't happen,” she said.

Credit: WHAS
Customers at Cattleman's in Shelbyville were surprised to leave their dinner to find their cars being towed from the Shelbyville 8 Cinemas parking lot Saturday night. The theatre's owner said they were parked illegally, but the people involved said they often used that lot as overflow parking.

Ron Rooding, the director of operations for Shelbyville 8 Cinemas, said illegal parking at the theater has become an issue. He recently acquired the property and said he had no knowledge of Cattleman’s patrons parking in the lot.

He said if he could do it all over again, he would not have called the towing company.

In a post on the Shelbyville 8 Cinemas Facebook page Sunday evening, a spokesperson for the theatre said it has terminated its contract with the towing company involved. The post also said the towing company has promised to refund "any fees they collected from illegally parked cars" towed on Saturday.

The spokesperson said when a new towing contract is signed, the theatre will make sure the company posts and maintains signs about parking and towing.

Contact reporter Elle Smith at esmith@whas11.com or on her social media outlets: Facebook or Twitter. 

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