Man fights with stranded motorists, tries to steal tow truck

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VALLEY CENTER, Calif. — A man who authorities said harassed a pair of stranded motorists and fought with a tow truck driver while attempting to steal his truck in Valley Center was in custody Friday.

A pair of stranded motorists were waiting for tow truck service in the 27000 block of Valley Center Road around 9:45 p.m. Thursday when the suspect began to harass them, said sheriff’s Sgt. Shawn Silva.

The stranded motorists became frightened of the man, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Valley Center resident Nikos Wizner, due to his erratic behavior, and they fled across Valley Center Road to United Oil.

The victims asked a United Oil employee to call law enforcement but went back to their vehicle when they saw the tow truck operator arrive so they could warn him about Wizner, Silva said.

As the tow truck operator was preparing to tow the disabled vehicle, Wizner entered the driver side of the tow truck and attempted to drive away in the tow truck with the disabled vehicle partially attached, Silva said.

The operator, with the assistance of the stranded motorists, entered the tow truck and fought with Wizner, who took property from the tow truck operator and fled on foot northbound Valley Center Road, Silva said.

Wizner was apprehended by deputies shortly after and taken into custody.

One of the motorists had a complaint of pain as a result of the struggle and was evaluated at the scene by paramedics, Silva said.

Wizner was arrested on suspicion of carjacking and robbery and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.