Van Towed With 16-Year-Old Girl Inside

CHICAGO (CBS/STMW) — A tow truck driver working for a city contractor was given three traffic tickets after towing a van with a 16-year-old girl inside on Friday on the Northwest Side.

Corey Cross, an employee of E & R Towing — a company used by the Department of Streets and Sanitation — was cited for three traffic violations, including towing with a person in the vehicle, police said.

The incident happened Friday about 6 a.m. in the 2600 block of West Division Street when a 31-year-old Rockford woman left her 16-year-old daughter inside a van to stay warm while she waited outside in a line for a nearby dentist’s office to open, the report said.

Cross pulled up behind the van and began writing a citation because the van was parked in a snow tow zone prohibiting parking from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., according to the report.

Cross hooked up the van when the Rockford woman began banging on the tow truck window and yelling that her daughter was inside the van.

It was not clear why he did not hear the commotion but the report said he drove westbound on Division and stopped about a block away because he heard the van’s horn sounding and when he looked back, he saw a person inside the van.

Cross then let the girl out and drove to the end of the block where he abandoned the van at 2746 W. Division St., the report said.

Shakespeare District beat officers found the girl by herself, walking back to the scene of where it was originally towed.

A Streets & San. staffer who got to the scene verified the van was towed because it was in a snow zone and told police Cross did not know someone was inside the van, according to the report.

The rear left sliding door of the van was damaged because he apparently did not secure it properly before towing it. No one was injured.

One officer said Cross did not have a criminal intent.
The girl’s mother could not be reached immediately for comment.

A supervisor who identified himself as Mike at E & R Towing said he could not assist in contacting Cross and hung up the telephone on a reporter late Saturday morning.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)

  • swizzle

    sue them, it’s clearly neglegence. a tow truck operator is required to make sure his tow is secure and safe before pulling off. it’s clear he know he violated the law and thats why he dumped the ride down the block, lmao.
    sue them and break them in court

  • brotten

    I agree with you Swizzle. These guys are hired crooks to rack up revenue for the city and for themselves. They are armed and dangerous as well. they think they are cops and are waiting for an opportunity to hurt someone who disputes the tow. I have witnessed many tows where the car was parked legally or the meter was still paid. They swoop in where ever and try and make an easy buck.

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  • alejandro cortez

    I would really take the guy to court especially that he towed the van but then dumped it a couple blocks away. that is insane. Especially with a human being inside the van..sue the hell out of them….

  • steven

    Thanks Mayor Daley this is the trash you left us

  • bfife

    No criminal act was committed! More of a stupid judgment!The girl is 16,everyone makes it sound like she’s a little kid! Give me a break!

    • Deb

      you’ve missed the big picture . i would explain it to you but i’m not sure you would understand. the idiot also damaged the side door. how easy do you think it would be for the owner to get that paid for ??? and why oh why did he abandon the vehicle??? what the hell gives him the right to ABANDON the vehicle??? you give ME a break!!!

  • Aunt Bea

    Yeah right he “didn’t hear the commotion.” I know this type. I am normally all for the worker but some little drones get to big for their BRITCHES and forget that regardless of who “commissioned” them (as they’ll tell you nonstop)–they are NOT IMPORTANT, they just like to pretend they are. LOOK AT ME AND MY CITY LICENSE, I’MMA TOW THIS CAR CAUSE EVEN THO I’M NOT A COP, I’M A LITTLE DRONE LIKE YOU, I LIKE TO DRESS UP AND MAKE BELIEVE I’M ONE. I know this type SO WELL. He ignored her cause his big britches said “too late lady I’m THE MAN! I’m city hall, you can’t fight me!” A little big shot who thinks he’s more than he is. Which is NOT a crime, but certainly is what it is. Unfortunately I wouldn’t trust a court any more than I would trust the city government, city police, or city workers.

  • Big Boy

    I hate people that always talk bad about the tow driver. Now don’t get me wrong, this guy SHOULD have checked the vehicle first!!! But people always get mad at the driver. Maybe you should park in a legal spot and there would be no problems. Pay attention and stop being lazy. If you have to walk a few extra feet big deal.

  • Mikey Chicagoland

    The tow driver gets paid by the ticket. He does not care who is in, what is attached, as long as they get the work. Just like the 70’s Harry Chapin song about Lincoln Towing, same applies here. I think that not only civil but criminal penalties should apply to the driver and the business owner. As a rule anymore, if I cannot get to where I am going reasonably easy on public transit in Chicago, I will do business in the burbs just to avoid any problems like this.

  • dooinok

    Moral of the story….don’t park illegal if only for a minute or two. These drivers are like vultures….on the prowel looking for illegal parked vehicles.

  • cha

    if a vehicle is idling and someone is inside it, it is not parked, it is standing…knucklehead tow truck driver should know this…probably trying to meet his quota….su him, city, and anyone else involved.

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