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Tow Truck Driver rescues drivers from flooding in his underwear (NY)


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CNY man rescues drivers from flooding in his underwear, loses job



A Central New York man says he lost his job after rescuing drivers stranded by flooding this weekend.

According to radio station Big Frog 104, Michael Venettozzi is a tow truck driver who was sent by AAA to the Riverside Center in North Utica on Saturday when torrential storms flooded the roads and parking lots. He pulled three drivers out of the flood waters, but needed to strip to his underwear to do it.

“When I arrived it looked like a raging river on the north side of the BJ’s parking lot,” Venettozzi told the Utica radio station. “I had to be almost completely submerged on my knees to hook up the car, so I decided to strip down to my boxers.”

Photos posted on Facebook by Kelly Tichenor show Venettozzi in his boxers, hooking up cars and towing them to dry ground. Venettozzi cautioned the drivers to get out of the cars, warning them the battery could explode; moments later, “the airbags deployed in a loud bang.”

Venettozzi revealed on Facebook a day later that he was fired. He told Big Frog that his boss said his “poor decisions put his truck and equipment in extreme risk of being damaged.”

“I don’t regret helping people, I don’t regret the choice I made... a human life will always trump a piece of equipment to me!!” he wrote on Facebook. “Smdh whos hiring?”

The photos have gone viral on Facebook, with a mix of both jokes and support for Venettozzi. Some are calling him a hero, “Captain Underpants,” and asking for people to send in donations to help him.

“Not only did he go above and beyond his call, he was a hero in many eyes,” Whitesboro resident Robert Griffith wrote on GoFundMe. “He risked his safety, his equipment to save those who were and who became trapped. His former employer fired him for his actions and that just isn’t right. He’s a great guy, does a lot for the community and I can’t sit by and watch his wife and 2 children lose their home, vehicles because of only 1 household income now. Many don’t know but Michael also raises awareness for veteran suicide, his wife is a sheriffs deputy, they are great people and we as a community now need to help them in need.”













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When AAA is all about customer service and making sure their members are, "100-percent satisfied", this tower went above and beyond to help these members. Perhaps his employer should re-evaluate the company's dismissal policy? Although a bit unorthodox-ed ... Michael served the customer and I'm sure they didn't care what uniform he was wearing. Besides, his under-skivvies had more coverage than anything you'll see on a sunny day at the European Riviera. If his actions were done in good faith, I say good for you Michael for your actions. If the news account is accurate, I say shame on your employer.    R.

Randall C. Resch

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Underwear issue aside, it sounds like they dismissed him for endangering their valuable equipment.  The very last picture in the series with the water up to the top of the tires troubles me much more than any pic of a dude in his underwear.  These trucks aren't submarines.


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