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Tow Company Employee Choked to Death Over Fee (MD)


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Damian Howard Charged After He Allegedly Strangled Tow Company Employee Tarreak Butler To Death



COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — A 24-year-old Washington D.C. man was charged in the fatal assault of the tow company employee early Sunday.


Damian Howard of the 5000 block of 4th street in Northwest DC was charged with second-degree murder, assault and related charges in the death of 41-year-old Tarreak Butler also of Washington, DC.


Around 1:50 a.m., Prince George’s County police officers were called to a towing company in the 5000 block of College Avenue in College Park. When officers arrived, they allegedly saw Howard holding Butler in a chokehold and the victim was unconscious.

Officers order Howard to release Butler. Three officers began to perform CPR on Butler, but he was pronounced dead at hour later at a local hospital.


Butler’s death was ruled homicide by asphyxia strangulation. Police believe Howard allegedly attacked Butler over the towing fee.


Howard is in the custody of the Department of Corrections and has been held without bond.


If anyone has information relevant to this investigation, they are asked to please call detectives at 301-772-4925.


 Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).


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This is so sad. I can't believe this senseless act. I pray for Tarreak Butler's family, friends, and his co-workers. I also hope Damian gets what he deserves. 

Contact: Doreen Aragona - Integrated Leasing - Office: 800-551-4854 Ext 20

Email: Doreen@integratedleasing.com  Cell 516-852-5740



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Wow ... that's a new one on me. Of the 121-some-odd violence related deaths of tow operators I've archived in 25-years, this is the first "Choke-hold", death I've recorded. The death ruled was, "asphyxia strangulation", commonly known as a police-style sleeper hold. Even applied by persons with training, death can be immediate if not applied in the proper manner. I'd venture to say that this individual was not trained in the method and techniques associated with sleeper holds. And, seeing this, it's a good example of what people are capable of when they're angry and unpredictable as witnessed in the most recent PPI video that made such a big stick over a PPI receipt. I'm sorry that Mr. Butler lost his life and Christine and I send our prayers to the Butler family and the company he worked for.      r.

Randall C. Resch

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I have heard of Tow Operators being placed in a choke hold by an angry customer. I have never heard of a death resulting from such an act of aggression. I hope the facility has cameras and one caught this event. That will go along ways in court to putting this murder behind bars, likely were he came from. God Speed, I'm sure we will know more about the persons position as this story unfolds.Until then I will assume this was a tow operator.

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