Ottawa towing company threatened into not helping police with trucker convoy: chief

Ottawa police say an investigation is underway into threats targeting a tow truck company that could have helped remove trucks from the “Freedom Convoy” demonstration in downtown Ottawa.

CTV News Ottawa first reported last week that local towing companies were rejecting Ottawa police requests for help towing vehicles from the ‘red zone.” A source said police were considering launching a criminal investigation into whether intimidation of the tow truck companies is leading to a lack of cooperation.

On Thursday, Chief Peter Sloly confirmed one tow truck company that would have been able to supply the service with the “logistics to tow illegal vehicles” was the target of threats.

“They have been threatened through some sophisticated online activities and direct threats to harm their employees and their business,” Sloly said.

“There is a full criminal investigation going into those threats. In other cases, we have had uncooperative private sector agents that we’ve contacted, and so it’s been incredibly difficult.”

Sloly said he has heard the police chief in Windsor, Ont., where vehicles are blocking the road leading to the Ambassador Bridge, has encountered the same problems trying to procure tow truck operators to help.

“Uncooperative agents down there or people who themselves have been threatened to not participate and support in police operations to remove the demonstrators that are blocking the international bridge to the United States,” Sloly said.

The city of Ottawa does have a fleet of heavy industrial tow trucks. Sloly says police are looking at a number of options to deal with this “significant logistical impasse.”

“We have looked at all sorts of options, and we’re looking at all sorts of joint procurement efforts, including across the country and south of the border,” the chief told reporters.

“We are considering other methods that may allow us to not need to use tow trucks to the extent we originally thought. All options are on the table.”

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