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A Roadside Safety Concern Becoming More Common

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Driver who abandoned car on Interstate 94 and shot at Good Samaritans charged

 

MILWAUKEE — Austin Fountaine, 22, of West Allis was charged Tuesday with one count endangering safety and one count of possession of a firearm contrary to injunction after abandoning his car on Interstate 94 and Hawley Road and firing shots at a vehicle that had stopped to ask if he needed help.

 

About 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, Fountaine misjudged the turn of the ramp, and his silver Chevrolet was off the road when a tow truck with three passengers stopped to ask if he needed assistance. The three then witnessed Fountaine exit the vehicle and run across the ramp and into the bushes.

 

Police took Fountaine into custody after the car was found registered in his name. The suspect had gone home and asked a friend to help him dispose the gun into Lake Michigan, according to the criminal complaint.

 

He admitted to shooting at the Pontiac and stated he had observed multiple cars with "handguns coming out" of the vehicles following him on the freeway, according to the criminal complaint.

 

"They were lucky they walked away with their lives because [he] was trying to kill them," he was quoted saying in a jail call to his mother, according to the complaint.

 

If convicted of the two counts, Fountaine could face up to 20 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

 

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 16.

 

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Now for my questions:

Why would a Tow Truck Driver with passengers stop to check on a stranded motorist. I understand being a concerned citizen. However it is not worth the chance, call law enforcement. If the vehicle is in the roadway call law enforcement and wait for them to arrive prior to approaching the vehicle.

 

1) Mental Illness is at the forefront of concerns these days.  You do not know who has a weapon

(note: a weapon can be a firearm, a knife, a tire iron, etc.)

 

2) Passengers in the tow truck were exposed to even more dangers.

 

I Encourage Every Tow Company to review this with their staff. I once knew a tow truck driver that was struck from behind by a tire iron as he was changing a tire. We have all have at some point allowed the customer to stand beside or behind us as we changed their tire. For numerous reasons I cannot allow anyone to invade my space, I make sure they are at a safe distance away from myself and traffic.

 

I have more thoughts, but I want to hear yours and they may be "Why Worry?"

 

RESOURCE LINK

 

 

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I agree.

You never know what is going through a persons mind today, and or what their intentions are.

Once you have clients in your vehicle, you should use due diligence to ensure that they are transported to their destination in the most safest, direct route possible. Driving down the highway is perilous enough. Stopping on the roadside not only heightens your chances for a collision, but subjects everyone to the unknown dangers of the subject you are engaging. 

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Good Comments Guys ... it's because of the world of psychos that are out and about, towers in California are NOT allowed to randomly stop and check the welfare of a vehicle parked on the side of the highway ... especially at 3 AM on the highway. As in the recent case of tow operator, John Pekipaki in California, he was stabbed by a homicidal suspect who set him up, or, the 2015, Pico Rivera, California, unprovoked stabbing of AAA tower, Raymond Zaballa, who just finished a simple jump start when a transient rode-up on a bike and stabbed him in the neck for no reason. Be it robbery, a way to car-jack your tow truck, to kill you for your cell phone, or, to die at the hands of some knife wielding psycho with a penchant for killing people, I agree that there's no safe reason to stop for anyone any more.  That goes for those late night calls that are questionable.   R.


Randall C. Resch

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