Tow Driver Arrested in New Years Eve Damage Spree with Tree Lodged in Truck

Des Plaines, IL – 22 January 2018 – Park Ridge police have arrested a man they say damaged at least 14 cars in the city on New Year’s Eve when he allegedly drove down several major streets with a large piece of a tree lodged in his tow truck. The Illinois Secretary of State licensed business database lists Worley as the president of Rosehill Towing and Recovery Incorporated.

Patrick Worley, 34, of the 1800 block of Linden Street in Des Plaines, is facing multiple counts of leaving the scene of a property damage accident, plus charges of reckless driving and driving an uninsured vehicle in connection with the alleged damage spree that reportedly began around 9 a.m. Dec. 31 on the 2300 block of Oakton Street.

According to police, a white tow truck hit a parkway tree at this location, and continued driving “with a tree limb wedged in the tow apparatus of the truck.”

The truck headed east on Oakton, south on Greenwood Avenue and southeast on Northwest Highway where the tree limb reportedly struck multiple cars along the way, many of them parked along the road, some of them driving, police said.

Park Ridge Deputy Police Chief Lou Jogmen said the reported damage included several broken rear windows and damage to a rear hatchback and spoiler.

Worley did not make any statements to investigators, Jogmen said. Because of the time that has elapsed, police cannot say if drugs or alcohol played a role, he said.

Patrick Worley, 34 – The Illinois Secretary of State licensed business database lists Worley as the president of Rosehill Towing and Recovery Incorporated.

Jogmen said the department began receiving anonymous tips that Worley might be the driver responsible after images and video of the white tow truck, captured by the city’s red light camera at Oakton Street and Northwest Highway, were released to the media on Jan. 4.

Police then located a witness who reported he had seen the tow truck and its driver on Dec. 31 after two drivers reported damage to their cars on Northwest Highway near Meacham, and he identified Worley from a photo lineup, Jogmen said.

Worley turned himself in to police on Jan. 18, Jogmen said. As of Monday afternoon, he was being held in Cook County Jail, with his next court date scheduled for Feb. 5, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. According to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the bail amount is $100,000.

Investigators have not located the tow truck, Jogmen said.

The Illinois Secretary of State licensed business database lists Worley as the president of Rosehill Towing and Recovery Incorporated. Jogmen said he could not say to which company the tow truck Worley was allegedly driving belonged.

Worley was also taken into custody by Des Plaines police where he was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of a property damage after his tow truck was involved in a crash in that community on Dec. 31 and refused to stop for police, Des Plaines police said. Further details were not immediately available.

Cook County court records show Worley has been accused of leaving the scene of accidents before.

In October 2016 he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and negligent driving by Chicago police, according to records. That case is still pending.

In September 2010, Worley pleaded guilty to charges filed in 2009 of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and was sentenced to eight years in prison, receiving credit for 195 days spent in custody, court records show.

In that incident, police said Worley was driving a tow truck when he struck a car on the 3700 block of North Elston Avenue and drove away, Pioneer Press reported at the time. He was also charged with driving under the influence, the paper said. 

 

Source: Chicago Tribune

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