News Notes

Posted on August 18, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

San Diego Cracks Down on Illegal Limo Activity

SAN DIEGO – An undercover crackdown on unlicensed limousine operators in downtown San Diego yielded one arrest, four citations and the seizure of two limos, authorities said.

Police posing as customers hailed rides from companies suspected of operating without valid permits or insurance, said City Attorney Casey Gwinn. When drivers could not produce permits and licenses to operate, they were taken into custody.

Most drivers were cited and released, but two limos were impounded.

There may be as many as 60 companies in San Diego operating illegally, said Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Lange, who organized the sting.

Operating without a permit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a $1,000 fine, Lange said.

The crackdown came after legitimate limo operators and members of the public complained to authorities.

The morning operation targeted seven companies that were asked to send limousines to B Street and First and Third avenues. It was conducted by the City Attorney's Office, the San Diego and harbor police departments, and the Public Utilities Commission.

Limousine operators must obtain permits or certificates from the PUC after providing proof of liability insurance. The permit fee is $500 and a statewide certificate is available for $1,500. Buses are inspected and approved by the California Highway Patrol.

Wife thought limo driver was stretching the truth

BOSTON – Hell hath no fury like a limo driver scorned. A woman who spotted her husband sitting in his limo with another woman allegedly decided to use her limo to get even.

Yvesnane Gethers, 27, allegedly began slamming into her husband Wayne's limo as she followed him around Boston.

She became enraged when she saw her husband of four years sitting in his limo with a woman about 7:45 a.m. Wayne Gethers claims the other lady was “just a friend” and they were just watching television.

Authorities say the couple's two daughters, ages 2 and 3, were in the mother's limo during the rampage, along with her husband's 13-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. Yvesnane Gethers' attorney, Tony Ellison, said his client denies she had the kids with her.

Wayne Gethers took out a six-month restraining order against his wife, but then posted her $300 bail and expressed hope they could reconcile.

Ellison said his client lives in Connecticut and her husband lives in Dorchester. Judge Annette Forde allowed Yvesnane Gethers to retain custody of the couple's two toddlers.

The two white limousines were heavily damaged. The family uses the stretch limos as personal rides, not for business purposes, Wayne Gethers said. Ellison said the couple jointly owns the vehicles, which are registered in Connecticut.

Mini Cooper S Limo Unveiled at Olympics

ATHENS, GREECE – The MINI XXL limousine is making its world premiere at the Olympics in Athens this week. The six-wheel, four-door six-seater stretch MINI Cooper S features the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit and was built by a specialist coachbuilder in Los Angeles.

Fully loaded, the MINI XXL comes equipped with a retractable flat screen TV, a DVD player, CD and radio, air conditioning, sunroof, full black leather and a telephone in the rear so passengers can communicate with the driver.

The highlight of the MINI XXL is a whirlpool tub for two integrated into the rear section of the vehicle. A detachable roof allows the tub to be covered when not in use. Emptying it is as simple as pulling the plug to release the water.

To accommodate the extra body length of the MINI XXL, the car is supported by a third rear axle with two additional wheels.

Following its stay in Athens, the MINI XXL will tour Europe and Asia at various events.

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