Joplin, Mo – Police say two tow truck operators went too far Tuesday attempting to repossess a Dodge Durango by following its driver, ramming the vehicle and finally lifting it off the ground with the driver still inside.

Capt. Trevor Duncan said the incident took place shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ninth Street and Illinois Avenue.

Duncan said two tow trucks began chasing Deshun O. Johnson, 32, of Carthage, as he was westbound on Seventh Street. Johnson turned south on Ohio Avenue and east on Ninth Street before matters came to a head at Illinois Avenue, where one of the tow trucks rammed the front passenger side of the Durango while the other blocked him in.

The operators then positioned their trucks at the front and back of the Durango and lifted it off the street with Johnson inside, according to Duncan. He said the trucks still had the Durango lifted up when an officer arrived on the scene.

Duncan said assault charges were being sought against both tow truck operators, along with a careless driving charge against the one who rammed Johnson’s vehicle. Jasper County Circuit Court records showed a misdemeanor assault charge filed on Zachary M. Tolbert, 28, of Carl Junction, in connection with the incident but did not show any charge filed against the other operator, a 30-year-old man from Carterville.

Johnson, who hit his head on the driver’s side window when his vehicle was rammed, did not require immediate medical attention, according to Duncan.

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