TAMPA (FOX 13) - A Tampa car owner said she was furious after the dashboard camera in her car recorded an auto body shop worker driving it irresponsibly and dangerously.
Michele Knight said she dropped off her 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander at a dealership to have the paint touched up on the bumper. The dealer outsourced the job to R & S Auto Body in Tampa.
Knight equipped her car with a dashboard camera that turns on and records whenever the car is started.
"That's a cool little camera," the R & S employee can be heard saying just after he starts the vehicle.
The camera rolled as the driver made a call to place a food order, made a stop at a bank and hit a few speed bumps, hard. At one point, the engine roars as the vehicle blows by vehicles on Himes Avenue.
Knight watched the video after she got her car back.
"My heart sunk. I was sick," she said. "I feel personally violated. Disrespected. Obviously they didn't care one way or another about whether they did any damage to the vehicle."
In one video recording an employee can be heard saying, "I got to erase the --," before pausing.
"Files?" another voice asks.
"I don't know," the first employee responds.
Sam Rodriguez, who owns R & S Auto Body, admits the worker drove irresponsibly and tried to delete the files some time afterward.
"He's in violation of our company policy and he's going to be reprimanded for it," he said, adding he does not know why the employee tried to erase the recordings. "It's against company policy to fool with stuff in anybody's car."
Rodriguez disputes Knight's accusation that her employee took her car for a "joy ride."
"She accused us of joy-riding the car, which is not true. We don't joy-ride cars," he told FOX 13 News.
Rodriguez said he has offered restitution, but has not yet been told what she wants.
"I expect them to treat the car like it's not theirs, like it's a customer's," Knight said. "I don't think they should be paid for the body work that they did."