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Tow Truck

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NEWS
July 22, 2010
So you get into a fender-bender or bust an axle on one of Philly's plentiful potholes: Don't wait for a mob of tough tow-truck drivers to swarm and start beating one another for your business. Instead, call for a tow from a driver who won't price-gouge or resort to arson and aggravated assault to trump the competition, commuter advocates say. Many motorists have roadside-assistance service offered by car dealers. Others belong to motor clubs like AAA that will quickly dispatch a tow driver.
NEWS
August 18, 2012 | Breaking News Desk
Police have someone in custody in the theft of a marked police tow truck this morning. The truck was stolen about 10:15 a.m. from a police lot at Macalester Street and Whitaker Avenue in North Philadelphia, police said. It was recovered on the 4800 block of Bennington Street in Juniata Park less than a half-hour later and a male was taken into custody, police said. Other details are not yet available.  
NEWS
August 10, 1999 | by Scott Heimer, Daily News Staff Writer
Yellow PennDOT construction trucks have created more than a few traffic jams on area roadways. Soon, however, green PennDOT trucks may be preventing jams - and helping stranded motorists in the process. The introduction of a fleet of PennDOT-logoed tow trucks onto the Schuylkill Expressway, I-95 and the Vine Expressway is being planned for near year's end, according to PennDOT assistant press secretary Gene Blaum. "They will provide towing and light roadway assistance - free of charge to the motorist.
NEWS
April 5, 2000 | by Carla Anderson, and Ramona Smith, Daily News Staff Writers Staff writer Regina Medina contributed to this report
A tow truck operator was crushed and killed yesterday while hitching up an abandoned car in North Philadelphia - casting a tragic pall over Day 2 of Mayor Street's ambitious program to haul 40,000 clunkers off city streets. Wayne Kennedy Smith, 40, suffered massive injuries to the head and was declared dead on arrival at Temple University Hospital at 1:37 p.m. yesterday. Mayor Street, who went to the hospital to express sympathy for Smith's family, said he does not plan to suspend the towing program as a result of the accident.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THREE OF the four defendants in an alleged bribery scam involving a police dispatcher and three tow-truck operators pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in federal court yesterday. Dorian Parsley, 44, the civilian dispatcher who has since been suspended from the Police Department with intent to dismiss, declined to speak with a reporter afterward. William Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J., an owner of K&B auto-body shop, a family business in Frankford, and Chad Harris, 22, of Philadelphia, a tow-truck operator who at times worked for K&B, also pleaded not guilty yesterday.
NEWS
September 26, 2010
A tow truck driver was killed early Sunday in Philadelphia's Kensington section after he was struck by another tow truck operated by a driver with whom he had argued, police said. Ray Santiago, 30, a driver for Siani's Towing, was hit by a truck driven by Glen McDaniel, 25, in the parking lot of O'Reilly's Pub at Frankford and Lehigh Avenues at about 2:45 a.m., police said. The men had been arguing about a woman and towing territory, police said. Santiago, of the 6700 block of Gillespie Street, was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 3:15 a.m. McDaniel, of the 2800 block of Aramingo Avenue, who worked for Straight Up Towing, was arrested near the scene and charged with murder, homicide by vehicle and related offenses, police said.
NEWS
March 28, 2012 | By Mensah M. Dean, Daily News Staff Writer
Although the slaying occurred in darkness, the surveillance video clearly captured a large tow truck repeatedly running over - then backing over - a man lying in a pub parking lot at Frankford and Lehigh Avenues. The victim, Ray Santiago, 30, of Gillespie Street near Unruh Avenue, worked as a tow-truck driver for Siani's Towing. He was pronounced dead at 3:15 a.m. Sept. 26, 2010. The alleged killer was a driver for a rival company, Straight Up Towing. The trial of Glen McDaniel, 27, of Aramingo Avenue near Somerset Street, charged with murder and related offenses, began Tuesday.
NEWS
July 22, 2010 | By Marcia Gelbart, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
News of fender-benders in Philadelphia is no longer being dispatched over the airwaves. City officials hope the new policy will lead tow-truck drivers to ditch their police scanners, and stop harassing motorists. Instead, police are being alerted to car accidents through written electronic messages delivered directly to laptop computers in their cars. Additionally, radio dispatchers have been instructed to call for a tow truck, if warranted at an accident scene, at the same time they inform police officers of the accident.
NEWS
October 19, 1988 | By Robert J. Terry and Maida Odom, Inquirer Staff Writers
Police yesterday added a narcotics charge to drunken-driving and assault counts filed against the driver of a police tow truck who was accused of ramming 17 parked vehicles Monday night on a single block in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia. Elbert Lee Hatten Jr., 36, of the 900 block of West Huntingdon Street in North Philadelphia, a civilian employee of the Police Department since 1982, was suspended without pay for 10 days. Police said he would then receive a 30- day suspension and a letter informing him that he was to be dismissed from his $23,000-a-year job. The charge of narcotics possession resulted from the discovery of a plastic bag in his pocket that contained marijuana residue, police said.
NEWS
September 28, 2010 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
The violent death of Ray Santiago on Sunday isn't the first example of violence erupting between members of the city's ruthless towing industry, but it may be the worst. Santiago, 30, who worked for Siani's Towing, was run over repeatedly by a truck allegedly driven by Glen McDaniel, 25, a driver with Straight Up Towing, about 2:45 a.m. Police theorized that the men got into an argument in the parking lot of O'Reilly's Pub in Kensington. Police said the argument had to do with a woman or an ongoing dispute between the men over towing territory, or possibly both.
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NEWS
October 23, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AT FIRST, Dorian Parsley shrugged. The former civilian police dispatcher seemed at a loss for words at her sentencing hearing before a federal judge. Then the words tumbled out. "I lost a lot of things," she said. "I continue to lose a lot of things. " She lost the trust of her daughter, mother and grandmother. She told the judge she took cash bribes from tow-truck operators in exchange for secretly texting them accident locations and driver information "because I needed to take care of my family.
NEWS
July 22, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FORMER Philadelphia police dispatcher and the co-owner of a Frankford auto-body shop pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a bribery scheme involving the tow-trucking biz. Dorian Parsley, 44, the ex-dispatcher, admitted before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno that she had taken cash bribes from tow-truck operators in exchange for giving them confidential police information about the locations of accident scenes. In a separate hearing before the judge, William Cheeseman, 43, co-owner of the K&B auto-body shop on Kinsey Street near Worth, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THREE OF the four defendants in an alleged bribery scam involving a police dispatcher and three tow-truck operators pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in federal court yesterday. Dorian Parsley, 44, the civilian dispatcher who has since been suspended from the Police Department with intent to dismiss, declined to speak with a reporter afterward. William Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J., an owner of K&B auto-body shop, a family business in Frankford, and Chad Harris, 22, of Philadelphia, a tow-truck operator who at times worked for K&B, also pleaded not guilty yesterday.
NEWS
May 11, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
K&B AUTO-BODY shop, a family-owned business in Frankford, has a "friendly office staff" and prides itself on its "ability to offer quality work with excellent service," according to an online description of the company. Apparently co-owner William Cheeseman considered a police radio dispatcher to be part of the family, too. Dorian Parsley, 44, a 16-year veteran of the department, is accused by the feds of giving confidential police information - such as locations of auto accidents - to Cheeseman and two other tow-truck operators, Stepfon Flowers and Chad Harris, who at times worked for K&B. She allegedly did it in exchange for bribes, collecting thousands of dollars in cash, from February 2011 to December 2013, authorities say. The U.S. Attorney's Office yesterday announced the unsealing of an indictment Thursday against Parsley, of Philadelphia; Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J.; Flowers, 24, and Harris, 22, both of the city.
NEWS
May 11, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A tow-truck driver with a history and a veteran police dispatcher bent city rules to move one Northeast towing company into the fast lane in the lucrative, rough-and-tumble business of clearing Philadelphia's wrecks, federal prosecutors said Friday. Authorities allege that Dorian Parsley, a 911 dispatcher for 16 years, raked in kickbacks for tipping off favored tow truck operators to locations of fender-benders and disabled vehicles reported to the city's call center. In exchange, the drivers paid her up to $200 a week between February 2011 and December 2013 for advance notice of wrecks before official calls were placed to the next towing company up on the city's rotating list.
NEWS
July 3, 2013 | By Sean Carlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A woman is dead after an two-vehicle accident Monday afternoon on the New Jersey Turnpike. The crash happened at about 1:20 p.m., at mile-marker 35.4 on the southbound side of the Turnpike in Mount Laurel, said Lt. Stephen Jones of the state police. The initial report indicated that a Chevrolet sport-utility vehicle had rolled over and its occupant was trapped inside. The woman was declared dead at the scene, Jones said. The woman, who has not yet been identified, apparently hit the center barrier of the Turnpike in the crash, which also involved a flatbed tow truck.
NEWS
September 21, 2012 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer
WATCH OUT, ATV-lovers: The city's coming for ya. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown plans to introduce a bill Thursday on behalf of the Nutter administration that would establish penalties for anyone who operates, parks, stops, places or stands an all-terrain vehicle on a public sidewalk or public property, including parks and recreation centers. Under the bill, police can seize the ATVs and subsequently destroy them or issue a $2,000 fine. "There is no silver-bullet answer that will alleviate the concerns of those who seek to ride ATVs and those who are put in harm's way by the activity," Reynolds Brown said in a statement.
NEWS
August 18, 2012 | Breaking News Desk
Police have someone in custody in the theft of a marked police tow truck this morning. The truck was stolen about 10:15 a.m. from a police lot at Macalester Street and Whitaker Avenue in North Philadelphia, police said. It was recovered on the 4800 block of Bennington Street in Juniata Park less than a half-hour later and a male was taken into custody, police said. Other details are not yet available.  
NEWS
April 5, 2012 | By Nathan Gorenstein, Inquirer Staff Writer
The cream puff at the Philadelphia Parking Authority's auto auction was the 2000 Volvo C70 convertible. The cloth top looked nearly new, and, though the leather seats needed a scrub, the interior was otherwise remarkably fresh. For prospective bidders, it showed far better than the tired Plymouth Neons and 1990s Crown Vics sharing the impound lot underneath I-95. And it was proof you can find a drivable car among the thousands of vehicles the city seizes and auctions off each year.
NEWS
March 29, 2012 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer
G LEN McDANIEL, the Philadelphia tow-truck driver accused of using his truck to murder a rival driver in September 2010, caught one break Wednesday: He was found not guilty of causing an accident involving death or personal injury. But that was only because Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart said that what McDaniel had done to Ray Santiago was no accident. Minehart then sentenced McDaniel, 27, to life in state prison without parole after finding him guilty of first-degree murder for repeatedly running over Santiago with his truck.
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