“May I ask why?” Bodeker asks in a video she recorded of the interaction.
“Yeah, your car’s being impounded, you don’t have a driver’s license,” an officer responded.
After Bodeker asked again why she had been pulled over, the officer added she has a history of drug use. But Bodeker said her last narcotics charge is five years old – and she’s been sober since then, trying to turn her life around using her late father’s car.
“He didn’t give up on me when I was at my lowest,” Bodeker said. “He got me into treatment. He’s my hero. That car is priceless to me. If I could, I would pay a million to get it out.”
While her impounded car sat on a tow yard, Bodeker racked up more than $2,000 dollars in fees she said she couldn’t afford. But her case was among several “dismissed without prejudice” amid an investigation into former officer Valentin Khazin – one of the officers who initiated the stop.
Despite her newly clean slate, Bodeker said the fees remained. As FOX59/CBS4 spoke with her, things started turning around. Rick Whitlow, owner of Whitlow’s Towing, called Plainfield officials, who authorized him to release the car – and he brought the fees down to $125 dollars.
“After talking to Plainfield – ‘Hey, we want to help her out.’ I just want to get the impound fee and maybe she’ll learn from that and pass it on,” Whitlow said.
Plainfield Director of Communications Stephanie Singh discussed the incident in a statement sent to FOX59/CBS4.
“After review, the citation issued in this circumstance was for driving while suspended, a misdemeanor offense, which is a legitimate tow and impound,” read the statement. “The towing agency has the right to collect fees associated with the towing and storage of the vehicle.”
But Whitlow said he understands times are tough, and he’s happy to help.
“Hopefully, she’ll [Bodeker] take a bad mistake and get her license fixed,” Whitlow said.
Bodeker said she’ll now be able to come up with the money to get her car. She’s also working on starting her own business and staying on the right path.
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