Fayetteville Renews Accused Kidnapper’s Towing Contract

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A Greenland man accused of kidnapping and shooting near his ex-girlfriend earlier this year had his towing contract with Fayetteville police renewed by city officials this week.

James Clifton Cox, 56, was arrested in January on suspicion of kidnapping, terroristic threatening, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The kidnapping and terroristic threatening charges were dropped after county prosecutors said the ex-girlfriend’s recollection of events did not give them enough evidence to progress in the case. Cox is set to go to trial in Washington County Circuit Court on May 14 in connection with the other charges, which were filed by prosecutors in February, according to court records.

Cox’s company, Greenland Wrecker, has an exclusive towing contract with the Fayetteville Police Department. The police department does not pay Cox. Greenland Wrecker Service is called when police need a vehicle towed, said Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor.

“He’s doing a good job,” Tabor told 5NEWS in January. “Everyone’s innocent until proven guilty.”

Cox’s five-year towing contract with police expired this month. A selection committee made up of officials from various city departments and the Fayetteville City Council selected Greenland Wrecker from a list of five prospective area towing companies for a new five-year contract, according to the city’s purchasing division.

The decision now heads to the City Council for potential approval.

Cox’s ex-girlfriend told police he kept her at his home in January and threatened her with a pistol. He fired two shots near her and kept her in his home before eventually letting her leave, according to a preliminary report with the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cox told the woman he would kill her if she told police what happened, the report states.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched Cox’s home and found fragmented lead, an expended .22-caliber shell casing, a suspected bag of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Deputies then arrested Cox.

Deputy County Prosecutor Denis Dean said the ex-girlfriend is not supportive of prosecuting Cox on the kidnapping and terroristic threatening charges.

James Cox