In last week’s post I made brief mention of being a victim of road rage, long before a label had been conceived for out-of-control drivers. Here’s my story:
Some 30 years ago, my bride and I headed home from work, making a detour for groceries. I drove down the area’s busiest street, full of rush hour traffic, and attempted to pull into the left turn lane. Due to various reasons, I made a couple of partial forays into it, only to return to the lane for regular traffic. This infuriated the driver behind me, who began vehemently sounding his disapproval through the liberal use of his truck’s horn.
Once we were fully into the left turn lane, he began to roar past us when my spitfire of a wife stuck out her tongue. This sent him into a full fury. He screeched to a halt in the middle of rush hour, opening his truck door hard into the side of our vehicle. He ran around our car and challenged me to a fistfight in the middle of the road.
Being of sound mind, I stayed in my car. This irritated him even more. He stepped towards the driver’s door and cocked his arm. Just then, oncoming traffic cleared and I gunned the engine as he swung his fist towards my window. But due to the car’s sudden acceleration, he ended up shattering the rear window instead, spraying glass throughout the car. He then returned to his truck to give chase.
We drove around the store’s parking lot, playing cat and mouse between the rows of cars. Eventually I was able to maneuver to the front door, letting my bride escape and summon police. She was sure she was going to become a widow. I figured I could continue playing “keep away” until the police arrived — or I ran out of gas.
Fortunately I was too cagey for him and he soon gave up the chase. One witness got this license plate number and a bored cabby followed for a while to make sure he wasn’t coming back.
The police ran the plates; the truck’s owner had a history with the police and was well known to them. They arrived at his home to find his right hand wrapped in a bloodied bandage. He confessed to the whole thing and admitted he was aiming for my head when he swung his fist. He was later found guilty and required to pay court costs and make restitution.