Shocking video released in tow lot carjacking assault

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The assault suspects have not been located

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Police have released dramatic video of an assault on a tow truck driver that occurred Wednesday.

The security footage captures the assault from early Wednesday morning at 21st Century Towing on North Kerby Avenue in North Portland. In the video, you can see a woman, with the help of a man, break into the towing company’s car lot. Shortly after, an employee named Joshua Durrett spotted someone inside the yard. He reportedly believed it to be a fellow employee.

As he went to open the fence, the large truck behind it hit the gas and rammed into the fence — sending Joshua flying. As Joshua continued his attempts to stop her, the driver forced her way out of the yard and fled the scene.

Watch the full video here

The suspects involved have not been identified or located, according to police. One is described as a white man with white hair, belived to be in his 60s or 70s. The other suspect is believed to be a white woman in her 20s or 30s.

Police said the suspects arrived to the scene in a white work van. The vehicle they stole was a charcoal 2016 Ford F150 with a matching canopy. The Oregon license plate is 628JPJ. The truck is believed to have substantial front damage with no front license plate.

Suspects in the carjacking assault at 21 Century Towing. (PPB)

Jack Durrett, Joshua’s father, told KOIN 6 his son suffered a concussion, broken collar bone, road rash and bruises from the assault but has since returned home from the hospital.

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)

“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.’”

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.

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

“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. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Nathan Moore at 503.823.0693 or at Nathan.Moore@portlandoregon.gov, or contact Detective Jeff Sharp at 503.823.9773 or at Jeff.Sharp@portlandoregon.gov.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this developing story.

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