RONKONKOMA, Long Island (WABC) -- A case of revenge led to a fight with an insurance company after a landscaper allegedly rammed into a former client's car, and the suspect left something very important behind.
The Argyris family says David Krauth got paid $1,000 two years ago and then never showed up to finish the sprinkler job and collect the final $100. Then, he was involved in a hit and run that left a rather large clue behind, but that left only part of this problem solved.
The family was enjoying a quiet Saturday at home when their oldest daughter heard a loud crash.
"I was like, oh my God, a car hit a tree," Irene Argyris said.
But it wasn't a tree. It was a car that smashed into her mom's SUV in Ronkonkoma.
"He was driving down the street, and as he was driving, he threw a pipe," said George Argyris. "Hit the back of the truck, smashed the glass, then drove right into my wife's truck."
Police say Kraught bashed then bolted, but he was caught minutes later because of what he left behind.
"His bumper and his plate fell right behind my wife's truck," George said.
The Suffolk County police report states the suspect even confessed.
"He crashed into parked vehicle one, then took off because he knew he was at a fault," the report reads.
Krauth was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and leaving the scene of an accident. His insurance, Country-Wide, sent out an adjuster. The repair bill was close to $10,000, but George says Country-Wide only offered a settlement of $2,665.
They rejected the settlement.
"I called them after 40 times," George said. "They have never returned any of my phone calls. So we started to call them for at least three and a half weeks to a month. They never called us back."
Then they made one more phone call, to 7 On Your Side. So we contacted Country-Wide.
"I have a check for $10,000," George said. "Once 7 got involved, one hour. An hour. One hour. The phones just wouldn't stop ringing, with apologies excuses and a settlement. One hour."
The repair shop got paid, and mom finally got her Suburban back.
"We're thankful," George said. "We're thankful for Channel 7."
Country-Wide claims it sent out two additional settlement offers for more money, but the Argyris' say they never got any additional letters and nobody was answering their phone calls. Their saving grace was keeping great documentation with their out-of-pocket expenses and repair estimates.
As for Krauth, he has pleaded not guilty and is due in court next month.
7 On Your Side takes care of insurance battle for family
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