Florida Couple busted on multiple felonies for “illegal towing practice”; husband on murder 2

Wess Haubrich

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Michael and Elissa DennPolk County Sheriff's Office

They were conducting business inside a mobile home park.

A Florida investigation recently charged a married couple with multiple felonies in the state, all related to bad practices into how they operated their towing operation.

Michael (age 29) and Elissa Denn owned Strapped Towing, operating out of Mulberry. They were transacting business with Stoll Manor Mobile Home Park in Lakeland.

Mr. Denn was arrested in May for fatally shooting Juan Barroso-Muriel, 36-year-old and a customer of Strapped’s. Denn’s been cooling his heels in the Polk County Jail ever since, facing a second-degree murder charge.

The sheer number of other charges against Denn vis-à-vis Strapped Towing is incredible in and of itself. He is facing a total of 21 other felonies besides the murder. Some make you ask, why are these felonies (as opposed to misdemeanors)?

All the charges below are related to his business, and all are felonies under Florida law. They include: 19 counts of storing vehicles outside of a 10-mile radius from the location from where they were removed, one count of failure to have address properly marked on a towing vehicle, and one count of failure to stop towing at an owner’s request.

Mrs. Denn is a co-owner of Strapped Towing and on the hook for the 19 felonies related to improper vehicle storage, the one count of improper display of address, and one count of failure to stop towing at owner’s request.

The genesis of all this was Strapped allegedly going beyond what they were initially retained to do, towing at night (when management was gone), and towing vehicles the park deemed there not being a need to tow.

The original agreement only gave Strapped the authority to give vehicles in violation a “stickered warning” to vehicle’s running afoul of park rules, it gave no authority to tow.

Barroso-Muriel was allegedly shot during a confrontation related to the reported abuses by Strapped Towing.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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