The Florida Times Union just reported on a road rage case on Thursday in St. John’s County. According to the article, a newly licensed teen driver was with her mother and teenage brother when the vehicle behind them honked, flashed its lights and the driver gestured and yelled at them. The second vehicle then rammed the young driver’s car three times. The incident was witnessed by others who reported it to police. The offending driver subsequently was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated battery, a third degree felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and one of leaving the scene of a crash, a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail.
This rather egregious example of road rage is not uncommon in Florida. Furthermore, the number of road rage incidents involving guns is on the rise. A study by the nonprofit news organization The Trace found there were more than 1,300 gun-related road rage incidents nationwide from January 2014 to December 2015. And, the study found Florida reported 146 incidents during that time frame. That is the most in the country.
In a recent interesting case reported in the Palm Beach Post, a priest was driving his red corvette (I’m not making this up) on the Florida Turnpike when he “brake checked” a pickup truck closely following his vehicle. When the pickup driver then tried to go around the priest’s ‘vette, the priest allegedly pointed a handgun at the driver (again, I’m not making this stuff up). When questioned by police, the priest reported the pickup driver had pulled up beside his vehicle whereupon someone rolled down a window, started screaming and then threw a drink at his vehicle. While the priest confirmed he had a gun in his vehicle, he contended it was not loaded and it was under the passenger seat during the entire incident. Nonetheless, the priest was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Continue reading