Photo: Scene from Oakland CHP
OAKLAND — A man who had a flat tire was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers on May 9 for allegedly firing gunshots when a Caltrans tow truck driver tried to help him.
The Caltrans worker was dispatched to assist a motorist on westbound Highway 24 on the Oakland side of the Caldecott Tunnel. The disabled car was parked on the center median near the tunnel entrance at about 2:15 a.m., where the motorist was waiting for assistance.
An argument ensued when the tow truck driver told the motorist to move his car to the shoulder lane for safety reasons. The motorist allegedly pointed his handgun at the tow truck driver, and fired a few rounds into the nighttime sky, whereupon the Caltrans worker fearing for his own safety fled from the scene, according to the CHP.
At roughly the same time, a friend of the motorist pulled up in another car and stopped to pick up the stranded motorist, and they both fled from the scene—leaving behind the disabled car.
All westbound lanes of Highway 24 were temporarily closed when responding CHP officers arrived; they subsequently recovered two bullet casings as evidence.
Several hours later, CHP officers arrested 21-year-old Tomas M. Torres without further incident at his home in Concord.
Torres was booked at Santa Rita Jail, charged with assault with a firearm on a person, and exhibiting a firearm. Torres was scheduled to be arraigned on May 11. Bail for release from the county lockup was set at $70,000.