Portland tow truck driver fired after tirade caught on camera

Portland tow truck driver fired after tirade caught on camera

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by KGW.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on September 14, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Updated Saturday, Sep 14 at 5:46 PM

FAIRVIEW, Ore. -- The owner of a 3 Boy's Towing said he was "appalled" and fired a driver caught on camera yelling at a car wash owner in a profanity-laced tirade Friday.

It all started in the parking lot of Scrubby's Car Wash in Fairview about 3 p.m. The car wash was crowded and someone called for a tow truck to remove a car from the lot.

Dean Hurford, the owner of the car wash, said when the driver from 3 Boy's Towing arrived, the driver got frustrated and screamed at an older woman in the parking lot.

Andres Malagon was nearby and ran over to shoot incident on his cell phone.

“(He was) belly bumping me, just pushing with his chest. Look at me, I’m a small guy,” he said. “We’re on our own property over here and that was the main cause just in case he caused any damage. I had it on film.”

Hurford said when he heard the commotion he came over to see what was going and if he could help.

Cars blocked the tow truck from getting to the car that needed the tow and the driver wanted them to move. The tow truck driver said he had a contract to tow the car, but Hurford wouldn't let that happen.

Watch: Fight between tow truck driver and car wash owner (Warning: Graphic Language)

Police showed up and eventually the tow truck left without the car. Hurford said he's never had anything like this happen before.

“There were people all over. People were hiding because they were afraid. It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever witnessed,” Hurford said.

KGW spoke with Mike Heslen, the owner of 3 Boy's Towing, on Saturday. He said his company is all about customer service and promptly fired the driver once he saw the video.

"When I got to finally see the two-minute video, I was appalled. I was extremely appalled because I don't believe in that. I don't want drivers doing that. I'm sorry it happened. I don't run my business that way," he said. 

On Friday evening, Heslen said he would consider a lawsuit against the person who took the video, but after he watched the footage, he said he would not pursue legal action.

Then, on Saturday, the driver of the tow truck called KGW to set the record straight. He didn't want to give his full name, but said his first name was Robert.

“I take full responsibility for my actions. What I did was wrong. I’m not saying that what I did I was in the right in any way, other than the fact that I was just trying to do my job,” he said. “It was a heated moment…and I may have let some personal things that were weighing on my mind cloud my judgment, but that’s no excuse for the way it all went down.”

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KGW reporters Art Edwards and Nina Mehlhaf contributed to this report.

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