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HOA BATTLE

A large sling holds up Wayne Simmons' bandaged arm.

"I've been incapacitated with the right arm for two weeks now," he said.

Tuesday morning, Simmons pulled his SUV up onto his Mansfield lawn and close to his front door to unload several heavy bags of laundry from work. He then left the vehicle there while he fixed breakfast for his kids.

"About that time, I heard a noise and I looked up and my car is being towed away," he said. "It was in the yard for about 45 minutes."

Simmons said he originally thought his vehicle was being stolen.He called 911 and police pulled over the tow truck, but they let the tow driver go with Simmons' car.

"Well, they had a picture of the car in the grass," the driver told the officer."HOA says it was a violation."

Simmons said the Remington Ranch Homeowners Association towed his car without warning for leaving it on his lawn for no more than an hour.

"That's absurd," he said."That's outrageous."

He isn't alone in his outrage. His neighbor, Carrie Brown, recently raised her garage door to discover her boat gone.

"I called 911," she said. "They said, 'No, your HOA towed it.'"

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Wayne Simmons has an injured arm.

Brown said she knew she shouldn't leave her boat on her driveway, but thought HOA bylaws required a warning letter. The letter arrived the day after her boat disappeared.

"I thought it was stolen," she said."My heart dropped."

Brown and Simmons have contacted lawyers to fight the association and recover the hundreds of dollars they spent to get their vehicles back.

Brown praised her HOA for encouraging residents to keep their homes neat and nicely landscaped.Lawns are green and flowers pour out from the rows of middle-class homes. But, she and Simmons said the association has too much power and should not be allowed to take property without a warning.

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