Yacht Club Parking Lot Booby-Trapped During Coal Company’s Christmas Party in Tuscaloosa
The parking lot of Tuscaloosa's North River Yacht Club was booby-trapped with homemade tire spikes Friday night during a Christmas party for employees and executives at Warrior Met Coal.
Stephanie Taylor, a spokesperson for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said TPD officers responded to the high-end venue around 7:40 p.m. after a security guard there discovered some of the traps in the roadway and parking lot of the club.
Taylor said the devices were homemade caltrop spikes designed to destroy tires that ran over them. Officers and security staff believe they collected all the spikes, but said at least six vehicles ran over caltrops and suffered tire damage.
"There could’ve been many more disabled vehicles if the security guard hadn’t noticed the spikes when he did," Taylor said.
Taylor said investigators are looking into the possibility that the trap was set in relation to the ongoing labor strike at Warrior Met -- nearly 1,000 coal miners have been on strike there since April 2021 over their contracts.
Laborers say Warrior Met cut their salaries and instituted strict attendance policies after the company bought all the assets of the bankrupt Walter Energy in 2016, with the promise that things would get better when the company found its financial feet.
Now, with the company's profits soaring, the workers say Warrior Met has not kept its promises about improving their contracts to reflect the changed situation.
As of Sunday evening, no arrests have been made in connection to the spike traps. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on this case as they become available.