By David Buckley
An elderly Needles man was nearly beaten to death last week by three employees of a tow truck company that is based in Arizona but which plies its trade in Needles.
According to information available to the Sentinel, the beating occurred after the victim, driving south on AZ 95, encountered his assailant, who was northbound. The tow truck driver, identified as Donald Fitch, 47 of Mohave Valley Arizona, took offense at the victim’s driving, later claiming the victim had swerved over the double yellow line.
Fitch is reported to have turned around and followed the victim across the state line all the way to the victim’s residence in Needles near the intersection of Cibola and Quivera. While tailing the victim to his residence, it is alleged that Fitch contacted two other employees employed with “A Toe Truck,” a company based in Parker, Arizona that has additional service locations in Quartsite, Arizona, Mohave Valley, Arizona and in Needles. Information is that Fitch used the radio system in his tow truck to summon Joseph Derum, 33, and Adrian Lara, 30, both also of Mohave Valley Arizona, requesting that they meet him at the victim’s residence in Needles.
According to neighbors, two tow trucks were seen at the victim’s residence, one allegedly blocking the victim’s driveway.
Donald Fitch allegedly removed a metal tow bar from the company vehicle and beat the Needles Senior Citizen nearly to death. The victim was Lifeflighted to Las Vegas, surviving the severe beating.
According to a statement by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, “On December 16, 2016, deputies from the Colorado River Station/Needles Police Department were dispatched to a subject with a weapon at the intersection of Quivera Street and Cibola Street in the City of Needles. Through the investigation, it was discovered that Fitch was involved in an altercation with the victim near the intersection of Quivera and Cibola Street in the city of Needles. The victim was struck by Fitch with a large metal pipe. Derum and Lara acted as accessories and are being charged with PC245(a)(1). Fitch was arrested and booked into the Needles Jail with a bail amount of $50,000.00 for PC245(a)(1).”
The sheriff’s department gave no indication of whether Derum and Lara had been arrested or cited.
By David Buckley