Jamaican Dies After Being Punched During Altercation With Tow Truck Driver

(JAMAICA GLEANER) – 61-year-old Carlyle Thomas, a former Jamaican jockey, died after he fell and hit his head after being punched by a tow truck driver during an altercation over parking in Brooklyn, New York.

According to reports, Thomas usually parked his motor vehicle at a gas station on Clarkson Avenue near Rockaway, where he paid US$10 for parking.

It is reported that around 8:45 on Saturday night, someone at the gas station called a tow truck to remove Thomas’ vehicle.

The police said Thomas attempted to stop his vehicle from being towed when an altercation developed between him and the tow truck driver.

It is reported that the tow truck driver, 30-year-old Kevon Johnson, punched Thomas in the face and he fell to the ground.

He was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Johnson has since been arrested on assault charges.

Thomas, identified as a former jockey from Jamaica, was a father, grandfather and well-known community member. His death sparked outrage in the community.

His girlfriend, Andrea Gooden, told news media outlets that Thomas had an arrangement to park his vehicle at the gas station for $10 if he was unable to finding parking on the streets.

His daughter, Valerie Simmons, according to reports on WPIX TV, has called for the shut down of the gas station.

“If lives are being lost over $10, why should they make money here?” she asked.

Germaine Thomas, his son, told the television station that he just wants his father back.

“The gas station owner has his phone number and he could have just called him if he wanted the vehicle removed,” Gooden told reporters.

On the weekend, residents and family members set up a memorial with candles at the gas station, effectively shutting down its operations.