Indiana Road Rage Incident Ends with Lessons We Can All Learn From [VIDEO]

by Tommy Grant

Next Post Coming Soon…▶

A road range incident in Ft. Wayne, Indiana last fall escalated to shots fired, with the primary aggressor punching out another motorist’s driver’s side window. As the hot-tempered window puncher wound up to continue the attack upon the red van’s driver, that driver fired his Ruger .380 pistol three times. Two of the rounds found their mark on the guy who broke the window, while the third hit a passing motorist.

Police initially charged the man who fired with a felony. This despite the man’s claim of self-defense of himself and his wife in the passenger seat.

Last week, an Indiana judge not only dismissed the charges but ordered the arrest expunged from the man’s record. That outcome comes as close to a happy ending as possible for the motorist who came under attack.

From WPTA News:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) – An Allen County judge has dismissed a felony charge filed in a November road rage shooting, court records show.

The 42-year-old Fort Wayne man was originally charged with a level 6 felony of criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon in connection with the Nov. 19. shooting.

That day, police say they got several calls about a road rage incident on Maplecrest Road. A witness told 21Alive he was driving by when he heard gunfire, and a bullet went through the front passenger window of his SUV.

The witness said a car was weaving in and out of traffic on Maplecrest and cut off a van, causing them to brake and honk their horn. He said the vehicles continued to weave around each other when the car struck the van.

The car then stopped, and police say two men inside got out and ran up to the van. Court documents say the car’s driver then punched out the van’s front window as the van driver was seated with the door closed. Then, the witness said he heard gunshots ring out…

Then on Nov. 28, Judge John Bohdan filed an order to dismiss that charge. He also ordered the man’s record to be expunged.

All of us, including the motorist should look at what happened to see how to better handle such incidents. Frankly, thanks to dashcam video of the motorist behind the van, we see that Mr. Red Van’s actions that day were far from ideal.

First off, pretty much all of us have likely found ourselves on the receiving end of road rage. For whatever reason, when drivers become frustrated, they often do things in their car that none of us would likely do face-to-face with someone in a store or a parking lot.

Angry people have terrible judgement, be they kiddos or adults. As such, we should all endeavor to avoid angry people, especially angry motorists.

Instead of engaging with the road rager as Mr. Red Van did, allow them to pass and give them plenty of space even if they don’t have the right-of-way. If you wave at them, make sure to extend all of your digits. Put distance and obstacles between you and your loved ones and any road idiots and call 911 if they decide they want to play cat and mouse with you and your car.  Remember, he who calls 911 first is usually considered the “victim.”

Give that irrational motorist every opportunity to expeditiously arrive at their destination or alternatively, to find someone else upon which to focus their rage. Remember, when people are super angry, they often cannot think clearly or rationally.

To Mr. Red Van’s credit, he did hold fire until the other motorist punched out his driver’s side window. Punch out a window and continue your assault of another motorist, you may find your ticket punched. That seems like a good lesson for the aggressors who exited their car to attack another driver.

No doubt the red van’s driver saw himself as the victim of the attack when he talked with police. Incredibly (and foolishly!) he even signed a waiver of his rights and answered police questions without an attorney present. Frankly, that was dumb. Not only did talking with the police and waiving the rest of his rights (which are there for his protection!) not save him an arrest, but it complicated his defense.  Read all about it in the arrest affidavit submitted by a Ft. Wayne police officer.

Moral of the story, keep your mouth shut and say nothing except “I was in fear for my life and want to talk with an attorney before an answer questions.” Then get that attorney to help you make your statement. That is your right and should be exercised in such a situation.

Lastly, Mr. Witness in the white Ford Escape: He not only failed to create distance and obstacles, but he apparently didn’t notice the attack as he drove past.  That proved an epic situational awareness fail.  He caught an errant round from the red van driver’s use of force in self-defense because of his merrily oblivious drive through the scene of a crime-in-progress. Car windows don’t stop bullets, but engine blocks typically will.

Don’t make the same mistakes as the red van’s driver.  Yes, the case was dropped, but who knows how many thousands of dollars he spent on Tums and lawyers over the past couple of months. And the Escape’s driver might file a civil suit against him as well, although the likelihood of success on that remains far from certain.

Enjoy a Happy New Year 2024 and stay safe, in part by trying to stay smart.

Next Post Coming Soon…▶

Read the full article here

Related Posts