Man On Tree Trimming Job Attacks Boss With Chainsaw, Police Say

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A witness tells the Daily Breeze a chaotic scene where a man at a Southern California tree-trimming company and a chainsaw “just kind of hit the fan” Tuesday morning. He was described as a disgruntled man wielding a chainsaw and chasing a foreman with his truck. It all went down at  the Edison Storage Yard in Torrance, authorities say. He was shot at Tuesday during a confrontation with police officers, authorities and witnesses said.

A co-worker took a video on his cell phone that shows the man driving in circles in a utility truck, throwing rocks at his boss and nearly ramming his employer’s pickup.

NBC Los Angeles says he even grabbed a chainsaw to cause damage. It was reported that a  security guard in the storage yard called police, and when officers arrived, they began chasing the man.

In the videos you can hear more than two dozen shots being fired. You can also hear police yelling at the workers to stay away, says KTLA. In the end, three officers pointed firearms at the man in the truck, shouting “Get your hands up!” Officers then fired shots, the video showed. It was not clear if the man fired back at officers.

Sgt. Paul Kranke with the Torrance Police Department says even though officers were seen firing at the man he was not struck. He suffered other minor injuries the police spokesman said.

The incident started as workers were preparing trim trees that were near power lines. The owner of the tree-trimming company says he was the man’s target. He tells KTLA the man regularly comes looking for work and is hired for odd jobs occasionally.

The man was identified as 44-year-old Jose Cortez. The New York Daily News says that Cortez was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

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