By: Jen Russon
A Margate man is charged with attempted murder of a tow truck driver after he fired shots at the driver for towing his illegally parked car from a Tamarac apartment complex.
On Saturday, Diego Andres Rodriguez, 37, fired shots at Sky Towing employee, Eric John Herr, who had been called to the Coral Vista Apartments in Tamarac to tow an illegally parked commercial vehicle. By the time Herr arrived, that particular car was no longer on the premises; however, Herr did spot an illegally parked Smart Car, photographed it, and proceeded to hook it to his tow truck.
Sky Towing has a contract with the apartment complex, located at 8090 NW 96th Terrace.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Herr began towing the red 2013, Smart Car, illegally parked in the fire lane, and as he started to drive away, he heard a man with a Spanish accent say, “you better drop my car, mother*cker.”
BSO identified the man who threatened Herr as Rodriguez, who told police he visits his barber at Coral Vista Apartments, and was in the middle of getting his hair cut, when he realized his car was being towed.
Herr said he did not see Rodriguez, only heard him, and continued to drive toward the apartment complex’s exit. Herr pulled over on NW 81 Street to fasten down the vehicle. That’s when he noticed a six-feet-tall, 230 pound man emerge from bushes across the street, and repeat the same threat, in the same voice from moments before.
“I told you not to tow my car, mother*cker,” Rodriguez said, according to the police report later filed by Herr.
Rodriguez then crossed the road, pausing in the grassy median, before he reached the side where Herr had parked his tow truck. At that time, Herr saw Rodriguez produce a black handgun and aim it in his direction.
Rodriguez fired five shots at Herr as he drove away, westbound to Nob Hill Road.
None of the shots hit their intended target, but two bullets did penetrate the Smart Car. The other shots hit hurricane shutters on one residence, and perforated the living room window of another home, damaging the T.V. hanging on the wall.
No one was injured at either home; an uninjured Herr drove away from the crime scene and dialed 911, eventually meeting with police on Sanibel Drive in Tamarac.
Herr, whose brother was also a driver and was murdered by the owner of a car he had attempted to tow in 2011, told police he wanted to see his own shooter prosecuted.
The tags on the Smart Car identified Rodriguez as the owner, and just before 7 p.m., Herr looked at Rodriguez’s driver license photo and confirmed to police that this was his shooter.
Police visited Coral Vista Apartments to conduct an investigation. They also spoke to witnesses, one of whom confirmed seeing two men emerge from bushes close to where the shooting occurred. One of the men matched Rodriguez’s description.
Police met the defendant at his residence at the 1000 block of NW 80th Terrace in Margate, and took him in for questioning. He has been charged with attempted murder and requested an attorney during questioning. He is currently employed by City Furniture in Tamarac.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.