Mechanic rides 30 miles with customer he says tried to skip out on bill

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WASHINGTON, Pa. - A Washington County mechanic survived a wild ride in the back of a pickup truck Tuesday after he chased a man he said refused to pay his bill.

Damon Lemasters, who works at Big Fred's Automotive Garage, said the customer tried to take off without paying his bill, so he chased after him.

"A customer tried to leave without paying, so I jumped in the back of his truck," Lemasters said. "He wasn't supposed to go anywhere without me until his bill was paid, and I wasn't going to let him get away with anything."

Police haven't named the man accused of trying to flee but said he drove onto Interstate 79 and didn't stop until the Waynesburg exit in Greene County.

“I was slamming on the hood and the rear window telling him to stop,” Lemasters said. “He was driving recklessly, squealing tires, running stop signs and pretty much everything else.”

Lemasters, who’s been a mechanic for about 20 years, said he’s never seen anything like what he went through Tuesday.

“I’d handle it a little different,” he said when asked if he would do the same thing again.

Charges have not been filed yet, but police continue investigating.