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VIDEO: Woman sneaks into towing yard, allegedly takes her truck, rams through fence, smashes company vehicle — and sends employee flying

'They tried to kill him'

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Surveillance video shows the shocking moment when a woman — who sneaked into a Portland, Oregon, towing yard early Wednesday morning — allegedly rammed through the lot's gate and fence with her truck, smashed a company vehicle, and sent an employee flying through the air.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

"They tried to kill him," Jack Durrett told KOIN-TV, whose son Joshua was the victim. "I mean, she knew he was there, she saw him and still ran him down and kept trying to continue to do so."

Image source: KOIN-TV video screenshot

What are the details?

Video shows a woman and a man arriving at the gate of 21st Century Towing; the timer on the video indicates it's just after 5:35 a.m. The woman hands the man a pair of lock cutters.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

After he appears to cut through the gate's padlock, she decides to crawl underneath the fence instead.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Apparently unable to open the gate, the woman walks back and allegedly gets in her truck.

At that point, employee Joshua Durrett pulled up in a company vehicle and spotted activity inside the towing yard, reportedly believing it to be a co-worker, KOIN said.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Then the clip shows the driver of the truck ramming through the gate and fence, sending Durrett flying.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Durrett quickly gets up as the driver goes into reverse and then rams into the company vehicle again. Durrett is then seen pounding on the truck's driver-side window.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

But there was no stopping the driver, who hit the gas again, caromed off the company vehicle and sped away through the opening.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Here's the video report:


Another towing company employee on Saturday spotted the truck that smashed through the fence, after which police were called to seize the truck, which was determined to have been stolen, KOIN-TV reported in a follow-up story.

And just before 9:30 p.m. that same day an anonymous caller who had seen the surveillance video on the news told police the whereabouts of one of the suspects, and police went to the address they were given to investigate, the station said.

Nicole O. Penagos-Clare, 24, was captured after a brief chase, KOIN reported, adding that she was booked into jail and faces several charges, including first-degree robbery and second-degree assault.

Nicole O. Penagos-ClareImage source: Multnomah County (Oregon) Sheriff

Police are still searching for the man who was with Penagos-Clare, the station said, as well as a van the suspects may have used.

What happened to the victim?

Jack Durrett told KOIN that his son Joshua suffered a concussion, broken collar bone, road rash, and bruises as a result of the truck-ramming incident but has since returned home from the hospital.

But for the elder Durrett, just seeing the surveillance video "is very traumatic. As a parent, you're looking at that going, 'Holy s**t, my son should be dead,'" he told the station.

Image source: KOIN-TV video screenshot

Jack Durrett added to KOIN that the only likely reason his son survived was his quick reaction and getting out of the way so the driver couldn't run over him.

He told the station two of his sons work for 21st Century Towing and have faced danger before.

"My other son has had guns pulled on him," Durrett told KOIN, adding that Joshua was assaulted six months ago while trying to tow a vehicle and returned to full-time duties just three weeks ago.

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