COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A Cobb County woman says she was approached for sex by a mobile mechanic working in a Marietta AutoZone parking lot.
“He immediately looks in and gives me a diagnostic and tells me I need a part on my car,” said the woman, who asked we not use her name for fear of her personal safety.
She says mechanic Darius Fletcher quoted her a $700 repair.
"He goes on to say, 'What are you gonna do for a discount?'” she said.
She says that’s when he asked for a sexual favor. Frightened, she said she grabbed for her Taser.
“I got out of it, but I just had to do what I had to do at that moment,” she said.
Her complaints to AutoZone culminated in a $25 gift card, and confirmation that Fletcher does not work for the store.
“They were quick to wash their hands with it,” she said.
A sign posted on the building states mobile mechanics are not to do work in the store's parking lot.
An AutoZone spokesman told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland policing and enforcing that policy is difficult.
The woman says she assumed Fletcher was an employee because he was freely allowed behind the counter. AutoZone says mechanics with commercial accounts are allowed behind the retail counter, to access a commercial counter near the manager's office.
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Dinatus Stokely told Channel 2 Action News a mobile mechanic in the lot at AutoZone on Cascade Avenue in Atlanta ruined his car.
Stokely said the mechanic approached him in the lot before he could get into the store.
“I thought he was an AutoZone (employee) just standing outside, walking outside for a minute,” Stokely said.
He says the parts he’d paid for, and which the mobile mechanic procured inside the store, were never actually installed in his car.
A certified mechanic found his original parts after Stokely's engine failed entirely.
With no car to get to work, Stokely lost his job at the Post Office and was evicted.
“I don’t think as a company and as a person they understand how much they impacted my life,” Stokely said
When Strickland confronted Fletcher about the woman’s allegations, he denied them.
As for whether working in AutoZone lots is common for him, Fletcher said, “I do what I want, when I want. I can’t help it. That’s just the kind of guy I am. It’s in my blood.”
Stokely sent a letter to AutoZone about his issues and has not heard back.
Channel 2 consumer adviser Clark Howard cautions against using mechanics who solicit work in auto parts store lots.
“When somebody comes up to you, just a UFO, and says, 'Hey I'll help you do this, that or the other,' buyer beware and know that there is likely trouble coming for you,” Howard said.
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