An American plumber has filed a lawsuit against a car dealership, claiming the work truck he traded in ended up in the hands of Islamic fighters in Syria.
Mr. Oberholtzer of Galvin County Texas claims that his company, Mark-1 Plumbing, lost business when his former truck, a 2005 Ford F-250 marked with his company name and phone number, went viral as it appeared online on the front lines in Syria.
In addition to lost business Oberholtzer claims he has received death threats and is claiming $1 million in damages.
Oberholtzer traded in the F-250 to AutoNation in 2013 as a part of a deal to upgrade to a newer model. Once the deal was done his son then started to peel off the decals on the truck but he was told to stop by the salesman who feared that doing so may damage the paint. The salesman said the decals would be removed later on.
The dealership claimed the truck went to auction in November of 2013 and was shipped to Turkey.
It wasn’t until 2014 when images of his truck with a weapon attached to the bed being discharged started to circle online when Oberholtzer’s secretary notified him that his old truck was all over the news.
That’s when the threatening phone calls in the thousands started, accusing Oberholtzer of supporting terrorists.
On the advice of the FBI and the Department of Homeland security, Oberholtzer bought a gun for protection.
In the wake of the threats, Oberholtzer says his business suffered. The following September when a piece that originally aired on ‘The Colbert Report’, which poked fun at the situation, found its way onto a piece aired on the Emmy Awards, the threatening phone calls started up again.
Oberholtzer’s lawyer has stated that one of the callers said, “How can you call yourself American if you are supplying vehicles to ISIS?”
Oberholtzer himself has not commented publicly on the lawsuit, originally obtained by the New York Times. The car dealership has also not commented to media on the matter.