Employee hit, injured in midst of tow lot carjacking

Crime

The employee sustained non-life threatening injuries

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A towing company employee was injured after being hit in the midst of carjacking, according to Portland police.

Early Wednesday morning, Jack Durrett told KOIN 6 News his son was run over while someone stole a car from inside the 21st Century Towing lot in North Portland where his son is employed. Police later confirmed someone broke into a storage lot and stole a Ford pickup, during which an employee was struck and sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Joshua Durrett recovers after being hit by a stolen vehicle inside the lot of 21st Century Towing in Portland where he works, Feb. 12, 2020. (Courtesy of Jack Durrett)

Durrett said his son, Joshua, was pulling up to the Century 21st lot with a tow truck pulling a car around 2:30 a.m. Durrett said as Joshua pulled up to the gate, he heard a vehicle rev up from inside. Thinking it was a co-worker, Joshua went to unlock the gate. The suspect then rammed the gate open and hit Joshua before taking off with the stolen pickup, according to Durrett.

Durrett said his son has a concussion, broken collar bone, road rash and bruises but has returned home.

“They tried to kill him, I mean, she knew he was there, she saw him and still ran him down and kept trying to continue to do so,” Durrett said of the suspect.

Durrett said the surveillance video of the incident “is very traumatic. As a parent, you’re looking at that going, ‘Holy sh*t my son should be dead.'”

Jack Durrett explains what happened to his son, Joshua, at 21st Century Towing in North Portland, Feb. 12, 2020. (KOIN)

He thinks the only reason Joshua survived is because of his quick reaction — getting out of the way so the driver couldn’t run him directly over.

“That vehicle knocked him probably 15 feet at least and he jumped straight back up,” Durrett said. “She kept accelerating and hitting his truck, back up, driving into it, till she finally got enough room to get through.”

Two of Durrett’s sons work for 21st Century Towing and he doesn’t like to think about the danger they both face as tow truck drivers.

“My other son has had guns pulled on him,” Durrett said. He added that Joshua was assaulted six months ago while trying to tow a vehicle and only returned back to fulltime work three weeks before this latest incident.

This is an active investigation, according to police.

21st Century Towing in North Portland, Feb. 12, 2020. (KOIN)

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