Friends and fellow drivers say a 48-year-old Knoxville tow truck operator should not have been attacked by an angry driver.
"Just because you think we're the bad guy doesn't mean we really are," said Lynn Waller, a business partner for Ron's 24-Hour Wrecker Service. The business' owner, Ron Gandy, remains at UT Medical Center Tuesday afternoon after he was towing an unauthorized Lexus from the Pleasant Terrace Apartments in North Knoxville.
Witnesses told police that there was an altercation between Gandy and the driver of the Lexus over the cost of the towing fee. They said when Gandy turned to complete the hook up of the Lexus, the driver attacked him from behind.
The driver fled the scene, leaving Gandy injured.
"Really and truly, right now, he's in a fight for his life," Waller added.
Tow truck companies across Greater Knoxville have been showing support for Gandy. This network of wreckers said this attack brings up the dangers of the job, whether it's dodging traffic or dodging angry people.
"You have moments every time," said Bobby Wilson, a driver for a competing towing company in town. "You better have eyes in the back of your head, or you'll get clocked with a baseball bat."
He said he was attacked in the past by an angry driver of an impounded car. He said he was lucky to escape without serious injury.
"I've been surrounded by 50 people down there before. I mean, they'll really come at you. I've had my equipment slung across the parking lot," Wilson recalled.
However, to go as far as Gandy's attack is still unbelievable, said co-worker Waller.
"From behind, over a $75 wrecker bill -- to do the damage that he's done is incomparable," Waller said.
A wrecker driver was critically injured when he was attacked on the job early on Labor Day.
According to Knoxville Police, officers were called to the Pleasant Terrace Apartments on Pleasant Ridge Road just after 5:00 am on Monday to investigate an aggravated assault.
When they arrived, they found Ron Gandy, 48, on the ground next to a Ron's Wrecker truck. Gandy had severe head wounds and the truck's engine was still running. A Lexus was attached to the rear of the wrecker.
Witnesses told police that there was an altercation between Gandy and the driver of the Lexus over the cost of the towing fee. The Lexus was not authorized to be on the property. Witnesses said when Gandy turned to complete the hook up of the Lexus, the driver attacked him from behind.
When the driver was unable to get the Lexus free from the wrecker, the driver left.
Gandy was transported to UT Medical Center with critical injuries. UT could release no information about his current condition.