Trucker Opens Fire to Fend Off Attempted Robbery in Truck Stop Parking Lot
Dalton, GA – A trucker opened fire and successfully fended off a robbery attempt at a Georgia truck stop on Tuesday.
According to the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), four men approached an unidentified male trucker in the truck parking lot of a Pilot Travel Center located at 243 Connector 3 SW in Dalton at approximately 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to local outlet The Daily Citizen, an employee of the truck stop said the would-be robbers engaged the truck driver in a conversation about buying or selling tires.
The encounter quickly became violent as the employee described that three men tried to hold the trucker while the fourth grabbed a bag with cash in it.
WCSO said that once the confrontation became physical, the trucker was able to pull a handgun which he was carrying on his person.
The trucker then fired it at one of the men in self-defense.
Investigators say the bullet did not strike anyone.
However, the gunshot did cause the four would-be robbers to scatter and flee the scene.
One of the assailants fled in a gold Chrysler Town and Country minivan, while the other three ran.
Authorities with the Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division located the minivan a short time later traveling along northbound Interstate 75 near the 341 mile marker.
The vehicle was stopped and the driver, Walter Wathen, 52, of Cincinnati, OH, was taken into custody without incident, WCSO said.
Authorities are still searching for the remaining three assailants.
They are described as white males between the ages of 30 to 50.
Wathen is currently being held in the Whitfield County jail.
WCSO reported the trucker was uninjured.