Charlottesville Tow Truck Driver Facing Assault Charges - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Tow Truck Driver Facing Assault Charges

Posted: Updated: March 4, 2013 06:09 PM EST
Joshua Johnson Joshua Johnson

A Charlottesville tow truck driver is facing an assault charge after an argument apparently turned physical in the parking lot of a hotel near the University of Virginia corner.

The verbal dispute between two Collier's Towing Services truck drivers and three people in the Red Roof Inn parking garage happened last Thursday night. The victims say the situation quickly turned violent as they were just trying to leave.

Alex Brown, his girlfriend Katie Stewart and another friend say they were driving their car out of the Charlottesville Red Roof Inn parking garage. They were behind a Collier's tow truck, when they say it began backing up and nearly hit their car.  They honked their horn, and that's when they say the truck driver got out with a crowbar in his hands and started yelling at them.

Brown said, "It was very scary, to have somebody with a crowbar threatening to hit you in the head."

They say another Collier's driver in the lot soon joined the argument.

Stewart said, "The other truck driver heard that we were yelling stuff and he came up and then my boyfriend had gotten out of the car, my friend got out of the car and they were all kind of yelling at each other, and it started to escalate."

The couple says the second driver was 26-year-old Joshua Johnson and he turned the dispute physical, by taking a swing - with his fist - at their friend through the open window of their car.

Stewart stated, "We were leaving, I was accelerating, we were driving away and he just reached in and hit him in the face."

Johnson was arrested on Friday and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.  The couple says there needs to be consequences for the unnecessary violence.  

"If they're just going to come out of their trucks and start threatening people, I think they at least need to be fired or the company kind of needs to be shut down," Stewart stated.

Brown said, "The truck drivers need to realize that they can't act like that, especially when you're representing a company with Collier's Towing.  I mean you can't just treat people like that."

We went to Collier's Towing Monday morning but they declined to comment on camera.  Monday afternoon someone who said they were with Collier's called our newsroom to say that this has nothing to do with their company, even though witnesses and the police report both indicate that the driver who is facing charges is - or was - a Collier's employee.

The couple says there was a Red Roof Inn employee who witnessed the assault.  The hotel has also declined to comment.

Johnson is set to face a judge this Friday.

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