Alexander City, AL – 28 September 2017 – The repossessor accused of injuring a woman during a repossession in Alexander City, Alabama has been identified as an ex-convict who served 25 years in prison after being convicted of murder, armed robbery and escape. He again faces felony charges.
The man who struck and injured a woman Tuesday as he repossessed her car is now facing felony charges.
William Greer, 45, of Tallassee has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident where there was personal injury, Alexander City Police Chief Jay Turner said.
Greer was apparently part of a two-man crew who went to a K Street address to repossess a truck purchased from a Tallassee car lot.
“The information gathered shows Greer had keys and had gotten into the vehicle and the victim came out and wanted to get a car seat and other items from the vehicle,” Turner said. “It appears that he then tried to speed away and ran over the woman’s foot and took down a neighbor’s mailbox in the process.
“Now don’t get me wrong, they have the right to take the vehicle if they have proof that the person is in default, but they can’t break the law in the process. Leaving the scene of accident is a crime and leaving one where there is a personal injury makes it a felony. That’s why we have charged him.”
The victim is suspected to recover fully from her injuries.
Greer, whose address is listed as being in the Wall Street community of Tallassee, is no stranger to law enforcement in Tallapoosa County. Greer was convicted of murder, armed robbery and escape in 1991 and served 25 years for his role in a robbery where a store worker was shot and killed, court records show.
Records also indicate that since he has been out of prison, Greer has two arrests for driving without a license, one in late August in Macon County.
Tuesday’s incident was the second incident where the repossession of a vehicle in Alexander City led to police activity in the last two months.
On Aug. 3, two individuals attempting to repossess a vehicle were arrested following a police chase.
Charles Steven Denney, 34, and Matthew Wayne Denney, 27, both of Alexander City were arrested following an attempted automobile repossession and the ensuing chase with law enforcement in downtown Alexander City.
Denney was arrested for attempting to elude, possession of marijuana second, possession of drug paraphernalia and impersonating a police officer. Matthew Denney was charged possession of marijuana second, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal use of defense spray.
The charges stem from where the Denneys were attempting to repossess a Chevrolet pickup truck in the Five Points area on Aug. 3
Turner knows people have a responsibility to pay their bills and has no problem with companies doing what the law allows to protect their assets, but he said if they have reason to do a repossession in Alexander City, they must obey the law. He thinks these two most recent incidents point to a bigger problem.
“I don’t watch reality shows, but I am starting to get the impression that people have seen this stuff that happens on repo TV shows and think they can do that stuff in the real world,” Turner said. “The law on this thing is confusing, even to those of us in law enforcement. So I did some research and hope those in this line of work will re-examine the law too to make sure they don’t open themselves up for legal trouble and the businesses they represent up for a whole list of liability issues.”
Turner said repo agents should be aware of several factors, one being that to do business in Alexander City, they must have a business license.
A secured creditor can only repossess their collateral if they can do so without any “breach of the peace.”
The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that if a repossession agent violates a criminal statute, then they’re breaching the peace.
So they cannot break any criminal law.
Here’s some examples Turner cited:
• They cannot enter the property of someone who doesn’t owe money if that person tells them to go away or tries to block their entry. That action could be deemed criminal trespass. But under the law, they can enter your property to attempt to collect their property.
• They cannot break a lock, cut a chain, or enter your house. That would be burglary.
• They cannot intentionally damage your (or anyone’s) property. If they damage property this is called criminal mischief.
• They cannot touch you or be violent in any way (that’s assault). By the same token, a person can’t touch a repo agent doing his job legally
• They cannot threaten violence (that’s Menacing).
• They can’t harm your pets (animal cruelty).
• They cannot curse you, insult your virtue, or use profanity (harassing communications.)
• They cannot use false pretenses to get the keys to your car or to get access to
someone else’s property.
• They have to give your stuff back. If they don’t pack it up and send it to you or let you come and get it, then they’re stealing your stuff. If they want to charge you $40 to come and get your own property that they have taken, that’s considered conversion. They can’t do that. If they take valuable things or cash, then you can sue them for that.
• Secured creditors do have a privilege to trespass on your own property and to travel on common property (like roads and public parking lots). However, they are not generally allowed to trespass into residential property of people who don’t owe them anything. For example, if a car is in the purchaser’s back yard, the repo man can’t drive through the neighbor’s yard and drag it out over his grass.
“It just seems like we’ve been having more and more problems with these situations,” Turner said. “We ask that if agents have a repossession that they notify our department first and give us a copy of the paperwork so that if a person reports a car stolen, we will know up front what we are dealing with.
“Other than that, just follow the law. The last thing we want is someone getting hurt in these situations which are already emotional enough.”
Source: The Alexander City Outlook