Myrtle Beach business owner apologizes for towing veterans’ cars during ceremony

UPDATE to original post: News13 spoke to the owner who says the cars of three veterans were inadvertently towed. The Dickens Christmas Show is also happening and some shoppers were utilizing their parking lot. The owners of Rockin’ Jump are now working with the tow company to get the veterans reimbursed.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW)- A large crowd of community members and veterans gathered for the annual Veterans Day Ceremony outside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center Friday morning.

The veterans who attended say this day holds special meaning and it’s important for people to realize the sacrifices veterans made for our freedoms today.

“When you have a day off people tend to think that’s a day for cookouts and BBQ and the reality is, it’s usually one day a year that we have an opportunity to pay tribute,” American Legion Member Rick Davies said.

Some veterans want that message to especially reach younger people.

“The young generation has to reflect on that flag representing a lot of blood, a lot of sacrifice. and they’ve got to be taught that and they’ve got to understand what it’s all about,” World War II Veteran Ed Ryan said.

img_476412 veterans also received their Quilts of Valor during the event. But as nice as the ceremony was, several veterans left upset after learning their cars had been towed from across the street during the ceremony.

“Kind of makes you feel bad that you’re going to get up out of here afterwards and witnessing everything and end up walking over and your car is not there,” Korean War Veteran Henry Owens said.

Owens says he’s been attending the ceremony for the last 15 years and has never had an issue parking across the street. The General Manager of Rockin Jump said in preparation for weekend crowds, he did put up signs about towing early Friday morning.

“There was a sign there, I will admit that and we felt the hour and a half that the festival was going to be, we thought that it wouldn’t be a problem to park there,” Owens said.

One thing that’s changed in the last year is the opening of Rockin’ Jump. Managers say the parking lot is typically used as an overflow lot for events at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and they are trying to control that.

“As we manage our business and try to make sure our patrons have a place to park, those are some of the oppositions that we come up against regularly,” General Manager Dexter Mitchell said.

During the ceremony, an announcement was made for people to move their cars from across the street because there was towing. However, Owens says he is a disabled veteran who couldn’t get to his car quick enough and believes the entire situation could have been handled differently given the significance of the event.

“They wouldn’t have a business if fellows like us didn’t protect them to have their business,” Owens said.

The General Manager of Rockin’ Jump says he wasn’t aware the ceremony was taking place then and would have done things differently had he known.

“I apologize wholeheartedly. Please forgive me, I made the call. I’m the General Manager so it’s on me. I would not have singled you out. Thank you for all that you’ve done for our country and I’m sorry.”