Police have cast doubt on claims that parking enforcement officers winched a car on to a tow truck with two children cowering inside.
West Midlands Police acknowledged that the incident in Alum Rock Road, Saltley, Birmingham, on Saturday had sparked anger among up to 200 bystanders, some of whom reportedly spat at the wardens.
But Insp Steve Rees, of Nechells Green police station, questioned claims that the sisters - aged ten and six - were inside their father's Nissan Primera before it was hoisted on to the transporter.
Asked if the car had been winched on to the truck with the children inside, Insp Rees said: "I can't categorically say one way or the other, but my understanding is that they were not. My understanding is that - with the people at the scene having been spoken to - the vehicle was moved from the area, very, very slowly, to just around the corner."
It is understood that council officials are attempting to establish whether the girls climbed into their father's car after it was placed on the truck, but before it was moved away from the crowd.
Talks between police, local councillors, traders and other community representatives will now be held today to see if any lessons can be learnt from the ugly scenes.
The incident happened as the children, Jubayda and Saeeda Choudhery, visited the area with their father Juber and mother Nargis.
Nargis, from Walsall, said: "We had just come here to pick up an airline ticket. "We had parked on a single yellow line and thought it would be okay, but when he came out of the shop he rushed over to the car and discovered he had a parking ticket.
"About five to ten minutes later a tow truck arrived and tried to take our car away with my two children still inside. It's outrageous."
Once the truck and the Nissan had been driven to a side street, Mr Choudhery agreed to pay a £30 fine.
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said: "We take these matters very seriously and we will be launching an investigation.
"From what I gather there were lots of people that made threats to the officers and the police. I don't think anybody can dispute that the man was parked illegally and we are liaising with the police about what happened."