Crime & Courts

Tow truck driver stabbed by angry tenant

A Bluffton tow truck driver is recovering after being stabbed in the abdomen Friday night. He was in an area where residents and the property management have an ongoing dispute about parking enforcement.

Preston Oates, owner of Pro Tow, was in the process of towing a vehicle in Shady Glen Mobile Home Park just before 11 p.m. Friday when tenants of the home on Shady Glen Circle confronted him, authorities said.

An altercation ensued, ending with Oates being stabbed. Oates said the knife went about 10 inches into his body, narrowly missing a kidney and other organs. He was taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where he underwent surgery over the weekend.

A detective is trying to sort out who stabbed Oates and find the weapon that was used, said Cpl. Robin McIntosh, spokeswoman for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

No charges have been filed.

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