News & Politics

Virginia Sues the Arlington Towing Company Britt McHenry Made Famous

A screenshot from Henry's Advanced Towing incident.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced Thursday that his office has filed suit against Advanced Towing Company of Arlington, citing conduct  it characterizes as “frequently predatory, aggressive, overreaching and illegal.”

The complaint, which first reported by ARLnow and which you can read below, says consumers have alleged that Advanced tows without proper authority, employs “spotters” to snare cars, and frequently tows delivery vehicles, among other nefarious behavior. Indeed, as Benjamin Freed wrote for Washingtonian in 2015, “Even by the standards of local towing companies, Advanced has racked up an impressive number of official complaints and lingering grievances.”

That blog post followed widespread coverage of perhaps Advanced Towing’s most famous dissatisfied customer, Fox Nation host Britt McHenry. Then a reporter for ESPN, McHenry unloaded on an employee of the company after her car was towed, shouting, “I’m in the news, sweetheart, I will fucking sue this place.” ESPN suspended McHenry, and she later apologized. Advanced released an edited version of the exchange, McHenry told Washingtonian a few years later. “But all I had to do in that moment was pay and just leave,” she said.

McHenry addressed the suit on Twitter Thursday:

The McHenry incident was just one of many times Advanced has landed in the news. It once tried to tow a car with kids inside. The complaint says it towed an Arlington police vehicle last year. It even towed an Amazon truck in what’s hard not to look at as a symbolic clash of Arlington’s past and future.

This January, police said an Uber driver struck Advanced Towing owner John O’Neill.

Herring v Advanced Towing by Washingtonian Magazine on Scribd

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.