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* Video: Toll Takers Want Self-Defense Training
Toll Takers Seek Self-Defense Training
Man Says Driver Assaulted Him At Toll Booth
POSTED: 5:35 am EDT May 16, 2008
UPDATED: 5:48 am EDT May 16, 2008
BOSTON -- Massachusetts Turnpike toll collectors are calling for self-defense training after a worker was attacked at a toll booth last month.
NewsCenter 5's Steve Lacy reported Friday that John Tierney, 52, was working at interchange 11A in Hopkinton when a man driving a sport utility vehicle pulled into a cash only lane without any cash. Following procedure, Tierney said that he handed him a payment form to fill out.
VIDEO: Toll Takers Want Self-Defense Training
Instead of signing the form, Tierney said the driver became enraged, grabbed his arm, smashed his face into the door and dragged him several feet before speeding off.
The veteran toll collector said he was left picking up several of his teeth off the Mass Pike. According to the Boston Herald, the driver was summonsed to court on a number of charges, including assault and battery.
A Mass Pike union rep said that the attack was "the worst he's ever heard of." After spending the past three weeks at home recuperating from his injuries, Tierney is scheduled to work on Sunday.
A few months ago it was revealed many toll collectors were secretly allowed to carry handguns for years. That policy was reversed in February, and workers had to turn in their weapons. At the time, the union was vowing to fight the decision. It's unclear whether this story will have any impact on that.
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