Another tow truck driver attacked in Knoxville

Another tow truck driver attacked in Knoxville

Posted:
"It seems like ever since this Ron Gandy gentleman got attacked, it looks like it's starting to be a trend," George Burbage said. "It seems like ever since this Ron Gandy gentleman got attacked, it looks like it's starting to be a trend," George Burbage said.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Two tow truck drivers were attacked within a week's time in Knoxville.

The first incident was on Labor Day, September 3. Police made an arrest in that case three days later. The victim, Ron Gandy, is still in the hospital.

Over the weekend, George Burbage, owner of Tow Pro & Consignment Center, contacted 6 News, saying one of his drivers had been assaulted.

Burbage says these attacks are more common than people might realize. "Nowadays, we just got to watch our backs. It's just really getting bad out there," he said.

The tow truck driver went to a call about a broken down car at the corner of Grainger Avenue and Luttrell Avenue in North Knoxville around 11 p.m. Saturday. When he arrived, the car hood was raised.

The tow truck driver asked the car driver if he could help jump off the vehicle. He says when he turned his back to get the jumper cables, the driver assaulted him.

Burbage said, "...the gentlemen pulled him and jerked him to the ground."

When Burbage got the call about the attack, he says he thought not again. "It seems like ever since this Ron Gandy gentleman got attacked, it looks like it's starting to be a trend," he said.

Burbage also says it was a setup. The caller planned to rob the tow truck driver, probably hoping for cash.

"Nine times out of ten, it's checks, credit cards and debit cards. Very seldom do we have cash on us anymore," Burbage said.

But he says these attacks aren't rare. In his 16 years in the business, he's learned of numerous attacks all over the country.

This attack of one of Tow Pro's drivers has the dispatcher who sent the driver on the call a bit uneasy. "To receive a call for a cash call at night, I would be very leery whether or not I would be able to do it," Tammy Roberts said.

She's on edge now about sending them to any call, especially those at night.

"As far as the safety of the drivers, I have great concern for them. At this point, I really, really do. What's the purpose of it? To beat up a wrecker driver when they're called to come help someone," Roberts said.

All the Tow Pro drivers are on high alert.

"I tell my drivers if they don't feel comfortable with the situations at nighttime, just drive off. They don't need to worry about it because I don't want my drivers getting injured," Burbage said.

The driver who was attacked did not want to go on camera.

Tow Pro says the driver went to an emergency room Saturday night as a precaution, but he's doing better now.

The Knoxville Police Department confirms a call came about the assault late Saturday night. The report is still pending.

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