Carlos Garibay, a Northeast side resident accused of skipping out on a $4,200 auto repair bill, said he did, in fact, pay his bill, and he plans to sue the business responsible for the criminal charges against him.
Garibay said he took his 2006 Honda pickup to Choice Auto Paint & Body in the 11300 block of Interstate 35 in July for numerous repairs.
However, he said he was not satisfied with the work initially, and tried repeatedly to have it done correctly.
Finally, he said, he reached an agreement with the manager, Mike Cheek, and made plans to pay a discounted bill of about $3,700 in October.
“I went first to write a check and I wrote it out to his name and he said, 'No, I can't accept checks,” Garibay said. “(I said) 'OK, so here's my credit card.' (Cheek said) 'No, I won't accept credit cards.'"
Garibay said he handed Cheek cash for the total and notified him that he would be picking up his truck the following morning, Oct. 23.
He displayed paperwork showing a zero balance.
Cheek, though, tells a different story. He said the paperwork Garibay presented is not a receipt. He said it shows a zero balance because the business intended, at first, to bill Garibay’s insurance company directly.
Cheek said, instead, Garibay received the insurance payment directly and was supposed to use it to pay the bill. He said the total he owes the business is closer to $4,200 than $3,700.
“He absolutely paid us not one dime,” Cheek said. "He obviously got dropped off on the access road here, came up, got in the vehicle with a spare key, took the vehicle."
Garibay admits he drove the truck off the lot, but only after paying the bill.
He said last week, a repo crew showed up at his Northeast side home and attempted to take the truck back — he believes, on behalf of Cheek and the auto repair business.
Cheek said until Garibay pays his bill, the truck belongs to the repair shop.
“We have a right to his vehicle. We actually can take his vehicle and bring it in," Cheek said.
Garibay, meanwhile, plans to take action of his own. He said he’s going to sue Choice Auto Paint & Body.