Virginia Man Jailed After Car Dealer Decides He Paid Too Little

By Julie Strickland
|  Thursday, Oct 4, 2012  |  Updated 1:04 PM CDT
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Virginia Man Jailed After Car Dealer Decides He Paid Too Little

FILE

A man is suing a car dealership after being jailed in connection with a recent purchase.

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A Virginia man landed in jail after buying a new SUV because the dealership decided the price he paid was too low, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

Danny Sawyer, 40, paid $5,600 less than the dealer’s bosses thought appropriate for a Chevy Traverse from Priority Chevrolet in Chesapeake, the paper reported. When he refused to sign a new, more expensive contract, the dealership called the police.

After four hours at the Chesapeake jail, Sawyer was released on bond. Commonwealth Attorney Nancy Parr told the Virginian-Pilot her office dropped all charges against Sawyer on Aug. 23, concluding there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case.

Dennis Ellmer, who manages the dealership, said he owed Sawyer an apology on behalf of the dealership. "It is my plan to let him keep the $5,600. I can't tell you how I plan to fix it, but it is my intention to make it right,” he told the Virginian-Pilot. 

But it may be too little too late. Sawyer has since filed two lawsuits, accusing the dealership of malicious prosecution, slander, defamation and abuse of process. The suits seek $2.2 million in damages plus attorney fees, according to the paper.

Ellmer said on Tuesday that staff never reported the SUV stolen or asked that Sawyer be arrested.

After speaking with police on Wednesday, Ellmer said he learned that one of his managers had indeed told police that the vehicle was stolen.

The incident “shouldn’t have happened,” he told the Virginian-Pilot.
 

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