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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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.)

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