CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) – Every so often a verbal fight will break out between a car owner and a tow truck driver, but things got physical on Monday night.
Carolina Beach Police officers said James Tucker, 65, drunkenly and repeatedly beat up Wayne Gunter, who is the owner of Pleasure Island Towing.
"It's a throbbing pain all over my eyes and down to my back," said Gunter.
Gunter was called by police Monday night after Tucker's daughter, Rebecca, was cited for driving with a fake registration and no insurance. When Gunter arrived Rebecca asked him to tow the car to her father's house and not the impound lot. Gunter said he agreed without hesitation to help her out and that's when the fight broke out.
When Gunter showed up to Tucker's home off of Harper Avenue, a police report states Tucker came out and punched Gunter.
"I didn't have time to react because the weight of the punch," said Gunter. The report also states Gunter was bleeding from the mouth and face.
Gunter went to this hospital after police investigated his injuries. He broke his jaw in seven different places and had a minor concussion. Doctors told Gunter he will have to get his mouth wired shut to fix his injuries.
Gunter, a former Vietnam veteran, is currently battling pancreatic cancer. He said he would have tried to defend himself, but he said Tucker hit him out of nowhere.
Gunter hopes to go back to work sometime soon but said he has a long road to recovery. He also has new rules for his own company. He said every car will now go to the impound lot no matter what.
"I used to give people the benefit of the doubt and try to help them out financially," said Gunter. "But I don't want to risk getting hit in the face when I take cars to people's homes."
WECT.com tried to make contact with the Tucker family but was unsuccessful.
Tucker is facing a charge for simple assault.
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322 Shipyard Boulevard