Stan Forron, owner of Watson’s Towing facility in Gainesville, where University of Florida safety Tony Joiner (above) tried to remove his girlfriend’s car and was arrested earlier in the week, said Saturday he received more than 200 threatening calls from Gator fans.
Over a dozen were death threats, including one message on the company answering machine in which a caller said would shoot him the next time he saw him. There were also bomb threats, if he didn’t agree to drop the charges against Joiner.
“I’m just glad it wasn’t Tim Tebow, that’s all I can say,” Forron said. “I think I would be covered in 10 feet of concrete right now if it had been Tebow.”
Forron told FLORIDA TODAY on Tuesday he had no interest in pursuing charges against Joiner, saying it was a misunderstanding in the very beginning.
Joiner claims he worked out a deal with an employee at Watson’s to meet him and pay the $76 tow bill. Joiner claims when he showed up, the worker was not around, the gate was left unlocked and he decided to go ahead and take the car and pay the bill later.
Forron has agreed with those claims. He said he was the one who left the gate unlocked, by mistake. Forron added he was angry when Joiner was arrested by Gainesville police. He asked the State Attorney’s Office not to press charges and after an investigation, that’s what it did Friday morning.
“He was a perfect gentleman,” Forron said. “That had a big influence on why I wanted (the charges dropped). If he had been yelling and screaming, they wouldn’t have been dropped.”
He said he received more than 30 calls from Gator fans offering to pay the tow bill for Joiner if he would drop the charges.“I think a lot of it was probably younger kids,” Forron said of the threats. “They just started going to UF and they were probably trying to impress their friends.”