Tow truck driver deliberately hits SUV to stop an armed robbery attempt in Oakland

A tow truck driver deliberately slammed into an SUV at a gas station in Oakland last week to protect a woman he said was about to get robbed at gunpoint

Andy, who asked to not reveal his last name, was at a service station on Hegenberger Road near Oakland International Airport Thursday when he saw one suspect with a gun get out of the SUV and approach her. He said he saw the armed suspects trying to break into parked cars across the street before they approached the woman.  

He said he couldn't stand by and do nothing, so he turned his truck into a ram.

"I made contact with their car and pushed them out of the gas station," said Andy. "I was trying to disable their car."

Surveillance video showed the tow truck driving into the SUV.

"The best thing I can do is try to be an American citizen and that is to standup up for what's right, whether it's somebody getting robbed or somebody needs help on the side of the road," said Andy. 

The tow truck driver didn't stop at hitting the SUV.

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Video posted on social media showed the tow truck following the vehicle as it circled back to pick up one suspect who fell to the ground injured.  That suspect managed to get into the SUV with the tow truck close behind. Andy said he never hit the suspect. 

Area business owner Alan Liang said he uses Andy's towing services, and witnessed part of the incident. He supports Andy's quick-thinking actions.

"For those out there who are committing crimes should learn from this message that there are consequences for committing crimes out here in the city of Oakland," 

Andy said he followed the suspect vehicle to try to get the license plate. He said he went for about two miles before turning back to check on the woman who had been targeted.

"I look at that as being my sister, my mother, my grandmother or anybody else." said Andy. "No one needs violence in the city," 

Andy said he took photos of their SUV and told them to leave when he saw them across the way in his tow yard. It appeared the vehicle has California plates: 6ZNC931. 

He said they brandished guns and threatened him, saying, "We're going to lay your old ass out. I was like okay."

He said that's when all four men left in the SUV and went across to the street to the gas station.

"I'm sad that it has to come to this point. I'm sad that one of them got hurt, but how many people have they hurt," said Andy. "The epitome of evil is sitting there watching something wrong and never doing anything about it."

Andy said he doesn't regret what he did. He says if he saw someone else being victimized he would try to help. He would do it all over again.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU.