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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

St. Paul, MN Towers Shaken After Assaults, Vandalism

Here's the news story:

Police are investigating the violent reaction to last week’s snow emergency in St. Paul.

The city’s latest snow emergency ended Saturday, resulting in nearly 1,200 vehicles being towed. But while tow truck operators were doing their jobs, officials say someone was trying to stop them.

Clarence Kempke awoke Sunday morning to find his company’s only tow truck vandalized—it’s back and side windows smashed.

"They had a whole chain out and they just like swung it like a baseball bat. This is just senseless," the owner of CNS Services Towing told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

He was one many drivers who was contracted by the city to tow vehicles during last week’s snow emergency.

"It had to be related to the snow emergency, because this truck has sat here for months. No damage to it. They call a snow emergency and this is what I get," Kempke said. "It’s very frustrating. Now I have to spend excess money…I’m going broke."

Kempke said that until he can get his windows replaced, he’s losing more than $300 a day.

St. Paul Police spokesman Pete Panos said it was even worse for two other tow truck drivers, who were assaulted last week while during their jobs.

"We don't know if it has to do with the economy—people getting a little more upset when they have to pay that $300 to get their car out," Panos explained.

Authorities have made one arrest in the assaults and said they are investigating Kempke’s vandalism case.

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