Truck wash owner arrested for allegedly putting water in diesel tank

Police in Washington state say that a recent dispute over money escalated into serious property damage and the arrest of a truck wash owner.

On May 12, the Pasco Police Department shared the story of the incidents leading up to the arrest of an area truck wash owner, which you can read in full below:

STOP MAKING IT WORSE. First off, we are not using names in this post, but there is a lesson to be learned here, one police officers have known for generations: No matter how bad it is, it can always get worse. Stop making it worse.

Our story starts with a local semi driver taking his tractor and trailer to a local truck wash. He speaks with employees in the big truck bay, tips them, then he pays up front for having the tractor washed only. Accounts vary. The employees washed both the tractor and trailer, reporting that the driver told them to. The owner wants paid for both washes. Police are called.

This is a dispute over money, a civil issue, one that would not even occur if the employees followed the policy of waiting to see a receipt before starting the work. The disputed amount was less than $70, and the transaction had included a $40 cash tip to employees. Officers told the owner that they could not force the driver to pay for the trailer wash he claimed he never ordered, and that the owner could not hold the tractor and trailer. The owner walked off toward the truck wash bay.

When the driver and officers relocated him, the owner was pulling a water hose out of the diesel tank of the semi tractor. The owner found himself in handcuffs, in a patrol car. The two tanks are connected and about 160 gallons of diesel was contaminated. The case ended with the owner paying for a commercial tow to take the rig to a nearby pump station to remove the contaminated fuel, and paying to replace the fuel. In addition, the driver told police that the delay caused him to miss a load pickup, which cost him income.

Officers will be forwarding the case to the PA for review of charges on the owner. The officers let him out of the car and took the handcuffs off, but he may still face charges. If the driver and officers had not actually interrupted the process, if the driver fired up the engine and drove off, the damage and cost could have been much more.

Anyone with info about this case can call Dispatch at (509)628-0333 or email Officer Jeremy Pellicer at [email protected] about case 20-12771 Malicious Mischief.