Dealership customer handcuffed in loaner car mix-up

Police: License plate indicated car was stolen

HOUSTON - A man says he was handcuffed and put in a police car after driving a vehicle he loaned from a car dealership.

Dashcam video was rolling as Pearland police pulled over the black Lexus Nikesh Patel was driving on the Tollway.

Police said the car's license plate indicated it had been stolen.

Nikesh Patel shared his experience with Local 2.

"The siren started going off and the policeman had his gun and holster pointed at me telling me to get out of the car," said Patel.

Patel said he immediately tried to explain the car was from Sterling McCall Lexus, which lent him the vehicle because his wife's car was in the shop for maintenance.

"That was the first thing out of my mouth was, 'It's a loaner car. It's not mine. I'm just trying to get my car back,'" said Patel.

Patel was cuffed and put in the police car. He said he was overcome with embarrassment while officers tried to verify his story.

"People are slowly going by and I'm kind of wondering who is looking at me. There's probably people I know because I'm very close to home," said Patel.

The officers finally let Patel go after 15 minutes.

Management at Sterling McCall Lexus acknowledged the situation and said they followed company protocol regarding the loaner vehicle.

The dealership addressed the incident in a statement, saying in part, "We regret the inconvenience this matter has caused. We have made compensatory considerations to the customer and are hopeful we can resolve the situation in a fair and reasonable way."

To make the matter worse, Patel said the car that was in the dealership's shop began having problems that required additional service just days later. Patel said he'd rather not bring his business back after the way he was treated.

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