Protest supporters threaten tow truck operator for moving protesters’ shack

An Ottawa tow truck driver says he has received hundreds of calls, including death threats, from protest supporters who mistakenly believe he removed a plywood shack from Confederation Park at the behest of the police.

Park structures, including a shack used to provide meals to protesters, were removed on Sunday after protesters cooperated with police and the park was fenced off – a move hailed as a victory by the Washington Police Department. ‘Ottawa.

“No encampment in Confederation Park. It’s gone. We’ve fenced off that area and reclaimed that territory,” Chief Peter Sloly said Monday.

Randy May says he was driving the tow truck that moved the shed to the Coventry Road field next to the Ottawa baseball stadium, which is a key camp for protesters.

The owner of Advanced Towing & Recovery, who says he supports the protest against all COVID-19 vaccination mandates and public health restrictions, said he was not contacted by police. He was actually contacted by one of the protest organizers, Pat King, to remove the shack after responding to a call on social media.

“We thought, ‘Why not?’ We own a business. We can help. We’re all with the truckers and we support them 100%,” May said.

He and his son moved the shack for free, he says, which meant seven hours of unpaid labor. They received a police escort en route.

“That’s when I started getting all the hate. You know, the phone calls, the texts,” May said. “We are talking about hundreds of them.”

As the sun set on Sunday February 6, 2022, Randy May towed this cabin from Confederation Park to land on Coventry Road at the request of protest organizers, but with a police escort. (Joe Tunney/CBC)

No help from the organizers

Photos of May’s phone number, branded on the side of his tow vehicle with his company name, were posted on various websites, he says, as many believed he removed the shed on the orders of the police.

May believes he has received calls from people across Canada and the United States who support the protest, which include harassment that sometimes escalates into death threats against him, his business and his family.

“It’s been really, really nasty stuff, the phone calls and I can’t get a word out,” said May, who tried to reason with people who reached out to her.

“I’m floored. I’m a patriotic guy. I mean, I love Canada. We love Americans. We all stick together, but stuff like that is disheartening.”

May has since attempted to contact protest organizers to clear up the misunderstanding so that the calls stop. He says he has not yet received a response.

“It kind of influenced my judgment on some things,” said May, who says he still supports the protest.

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