Man's attempt to recover Range Rover at tow yard turns into Halloween nightmare

Woman wounded during shooting at Mac's Towing Services

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – Lee J. Steinberg of Brooklyn was having a nightmarish Allhallows' Eve. 

After his Range Rover was towed, Steinberg showed up to Mac's Towing Services at 418 SW 2nd Place, in Dania Beach to recover it. He not only didn't get his SUV back, but he was shot at, his friend was wounded and he ended up in jail. 

First, the employees there told him his vehicle registration was damaged and he needed to provide a "non-damaged readable copy," deputies said. He returned with a new copy, but then they told him that he didn't have enough cash. He was allegedly short $12.  

Steinberg, 39, returned with the cash, and having met all of the requirements, the Mac's Towing Services' employees told him to wait. He waited outside in a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck with a woman and a man. 

Steinberg, who was released from prison in 2013 after serving about three years for a 2008 robbery, told deputies he was upset. He accused the Mac's Towing Services employees of threatening not to release his vehicle right away.

Mac's Towing Services employees are used to dealing with angry people, but on Monday the employees told deputies there was rage. Steinberg's friend lost his patience and walked into Mac's Towing Services shouting, according to the police report. 

Steinberg followed, yelled obscenities, walked out, got in the pickup truck and drove it into the gate entering into the tow yard, according to the police report. He allegedly reversed toward a group of employees at the tow yard. 

Steinberg told deputies he did not intend to run over any of the employees, but the employees disagreed. They told deputies they feared for their lives. 

Gonzalo Llinas, an employee of Mac's Towing Services, admitted to firing a Ruger .380 handgun seven times into the back of the Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck, according to the arrest report. Deputies reported the woman who was in a passenger seat in the truck was shot in the arm. 

Thomas McElyea, an employee of Mac's Towing Services, used a forklift to push the truck into a corner. 

"Steinberg then exited the vehicle and fled from the tow yard," Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Ryan Omalley wrote in his report. "Steinberg was later located and detained by deputies in the area."

While Steinberg was being held at the BSO Dania District Office, deputies say he caused further damage to the plexiglass on the cell door that was already damaged, according to the police report.

According to the arrest report, Steinberg was held at the Broward Sheriff's Office Main Jail and prosecutors charged him aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and burglary criminal mischief.

About the Authors:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.