Two charged after shots fired at tow truck from rival company’s rig

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Nov 13, 2022  •  6 hours ago  •  3 minute read  •  Free Press file photo Free Press file photo

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Two London men are facing a string of charges after a shots were fired at a tow truck by occupants of rival company’s rig in south London Saturday night.

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London police say a man in a locally owned tow truck was going south on Adelaide Street South around 10:20 p.m. Saturday while being followed by another company’s tow truck.

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After passing Osgoode Drive, police said an occupant of the rival tow truck fired six shots from a handgun at the man. Five of the shots struck the truck’s tailgate with another round going through the truck’s rear windshield, police said.

“The suspect tow truck then fled the area, and was last seen travelling southbound on Dearness Drive,” police said in a news release Sunday afternoon.

London police were called shortly after the shots were fired. They obtained a vehicle description and collected evidence on the shooting. There were no reported injuries, police said.

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London investigators, with assistance from Halton Regional Police, tracked the suspect tow truck into Oakville where two men were arrested without incident, London police said.

A 25-year-old man and a 21-year-old man, both from London have been charged with occupying a motor vehicle with a firearm, recklessly discharging a gun with intent to injure and possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm without a licence.

The 25-year-old is also charged with breach of probation, and two counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to a prohibition order.

The 21-year-old is charged with failing to comply with a release order and failing to stop for police.

Both men are scheduled to appear in London court Sunday in relation to the charges.

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Police have not released the names of the tow truck companies involved.

The targeting of a tow truck by another operator is deeply concerning, said Dwayne Cameron of Clarke’s & Sturdy’s Services, adding it’s also damaging to the broader towing industry.

Cameron, a director of the London Towing Association which attempted to self-regulate operators in the city, said crimes like this shake the public’s perception and trust in the sector. 

“People will call you names driving by when you’re on a call at the roadside,” Cameron said Sunday. “It was very rude. We don’t chase accidents, listen to police scanners, any of it. We’ve been against that since day one.”

Fadi Ibrahim of Low Price Towing, also a director of the London Towing Association, said the violence is uncalled for and doesn’t represent the city’s small community if tow truck operators.

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“This should not be happening in our city. I’ve been in the towing business for more than 20 years,” he said Sunday. “It’s crazy and out of control and I really appreciate our police department for investigating like they did.”

Ibrahim and Cameron encouraged drivers to do their research and understand that not all tow truck operators are reputable. Drivers that show up in unmarked vehicles wearing street clothes, without work boots or other safety gear, should send up red flags, they said.

In March 2021, city hall passed licencing requirements for towing businesses in the city in a bid to crack down on chasers, unscrupulous operators who show up at crash scenes uninvited to solicit business. Under the new roles, all tow truck companies that provide services at crash scenes in the city are required to be licenced by city hall.

Twenty-four tow truck businesses are licenced with city hall under the bylaw.

Anyone with information about the Adelaide Street shooting is asked to call London police at (519) 661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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