News

Road rage attack under investigation

Man allegedly runs other man off road, punches him in face

A case of severe road rage was reported Monday, May 16, after a man allegedly ran another driver off Grant Road, then punched him in the face through the car window, and broke the victim's glasses, police said.

The man accused of the attack told the investigating officer a "conflicting" story.

Going by the alleged victim's statements, Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said the incident began at about 10:40 a.m. on May 16, when the man tried to merge into the lane next to him as he drove southbound on Highway 85. The man, a 46-year-old Mountain View resident, did not see the car in the next lane and almost ran into it.

The driver of the car that was almost hit apparently became irate and followed the Mountain View resident as he exited the freeway and turned onto Grant Road heading west, Wylie said. According to the 46-year-old, the man following him ultimately forced him off the road into the driveway of St. Timothy's Church on Grant Road near Cuesta Drive.

The man following the victim then got out of his car and continued yelling, pointing and "challenging him to a fight," Wylie said.

Although he was scared, the man being followed started to roll his window down to try to apologize. The enraged driver punched him, pulled off his prescription glasses, smashed them on the ground, got back in his car and left.

Witnesses at the church wrote down the man's license plate number as he left the church and the victim called the police.

Police tracked down the 42-year-old road rage suspect later that day at his home in Palo Alto, but because of the nature of the crimes and the man's story which "completely contradicted" the victim's story, he was not arrested and his name was not released, Wylie said.

A warrant was requested for the Palo Alto man on charges of child endangerment, because there were children in both cars, battery for hitting the victim and vandalism for breaking the victim's glasses.

The 42-year-old enraged driver had his 13-year-old son in the car. The victim had two children in the car -- a 9-year-old and a 3-year-old.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by p smith
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 18, 2011 at 9:49 am

Dude, you had to chase the guy down and punch him in the face in front of his kids.

42 yrs old is old enough not to be a dumb ass, really man.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

It's tough living in Palo Alto. Give the guy a break.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kj
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

So, no arrest and no charges. Nice to see justice done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shawn
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

"completely contradicted" will be hard to defend with witnesses to the "child endangerment, battery, and vandalism" charges.

That's a pretty good distance to travel off of 85 with that much anger.

Those poor traumatized kids....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by @ KJ
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

"A warrant was requested...." probably means there will be justice done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

The first driver acknowledged driving carelessly, and also deserves a child endangerment charge. He's not completely innocent!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Rogers
a resident of North Whisman
on May 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

This should give us all pause. What if one of them used a gun instead of fists? You never know who is in a vehicle and what they are capable of. It's not easy to just ignore a bad driver - particularly when they are potentially endangering your life but it's never worth it to pick a fight.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jupiterk
a resident of Gemello
on May 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

it seems we are very fast becoming 3rd world citizens with this kind of behavior on our roads. It would be very nice if people can drive carefully and yield to others instead of driving like jerks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jusme
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm


Re: this incident, we all can be thankful that "most" of these
perpetual bloggers aren't in positions to make legal decisions.
WAY too much time on the ol' computer, folks. Look out of the window, there's really a big world out there and the sun's out, at the moment!! Go enjoy it, I dare ya'.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thom
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I wouldn't have done what he did with his kid in the car...but if I was alone and someone tried to inculde me in their personal death wish I would do the same thing. As a motorcycle rider I can not begin to tell you the times someone has done this exact same thing. And not just around town but a lady not from around here busted over into my lane. Luckily I was able to grab the shoulder and throttle by. People don't pay attention like they should. Blame it on cell phones, texting...but I say it's just because we have drivers here that don't even have a license and don't know the rules of the road. How many times have we all seen people merge on a freeway and shoot straight to the fast lane, then slow down?

It's "share the road" NOT "share my lane"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by No Sanctuary
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Motorcycle rider Thom's post ended with "It's "share the road" NOT "share my lane"".

It'd be nice if motorcycle riders would return the favor and not share (split) MY lane.

One rider was almost darwinized when he came from behind me, and passed on the right as I, first in line, was turning left from a single-lane left turn lane into the righthand lane of a multilane roadway. Fortunately, impact with car or curb was avoided because I checked my rightside mirror, so didn't finish my turn as close to the curb as I'd intended to.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Big
a resident of The Crossings
on May 19, 2011 at 1:03 am

Almost causing an accident does not give anyone the right to be pursued, run off the road, assaulted and have his property smashed.

The "ShallowAltan" should have have been arrested and booked as there were witnesses to the assault.

If you drive enough miles, sooner or later you will make a mistake even if you always try to do the right thing. A simple "I'm sorry wave" should be all the is necessary in a polite society, there should be no need for a duel at ten paces for such cases.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Exit22blindspot
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2011 at 2:14 am

I wonder if this incident started just as one driver was entering Hwy 85 and the other was exiting at 237/Grant Rd. I take this exit every day and it is extremely dangerous because there is very little stretch of road between the on ramp and the off ramp. Cars come onto the highway fast and at an angle so they are in your blind spot. You have to have experience to take this exit so you know to move into the exit lane a little later to give some extra time for checking and re-checking your rear views.

I make no excuses for the behaviour of the road rage driver. He should have thanked his lucky stars he narrowly escaped an accident rather than escalating it into an assault and battery. Still I think the roads are the ones that deserve all the rage, not poor drivers who try to navigate thru all their faults and flaws.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

If Mr. Palo Alto tried this with me he'd have a gun stuck in his face.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JOsh
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

I completely support the driver who attacked the one who ran him off the road....that driver instigated the event based on this report.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by An Eye
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2011 at 9:41 am

Not really on topic for this particular story, but along the lines of road rage, it only seems to happen when there is an auto involved. I've never seen bike on bike road rage for example, or pedestrian on pedestrian, even though I've seen many bike/bike incidents as well as pedestrian bumping and such, but its always been handled with a laugh and a pardon me, maybe an eyeroll at the worst. If a car is involved though, different story. I think some people have their egos tied to their cars which makes them feel more "violated" whenever someone makes them hit the brakes or alter their actions at all, and at the same time, the "hiding in a box" aspect of cars seems to bolster more "macho" attitudes from men an women alike, plus it makes them seem like "non-people" to others along road, which is why you'll likely see pedestrians or cyclists flipping off a driver who makes a mistake rather than extending the same courtesy they would extend to those outside of cars.
Everyone on the road is someone else's loved one. Slow down, relax, and everyone gets home safe.
Jail for those who cannot act without violence in this society, esp this psychopath who hunted and attact the other driver while the cars were filled ith kids. That's just plain SICK!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by An Eye
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

Not really on topic for this particular story, but along the lines of road rage, it only seems to happen when there is an auto involved. I've never seen bike on bike road rage for example, or pedestrian on pedestrian, even though I've seen many bike/bike incidents as well as pedestrian bumping and such, but its always been handled with a laugh and a pardon me, maybe an eyeroll at the worst. If a car is involved though, different story. I think some people have their egos tied to their cars which makes them feel more "violated" whenever someone makes them hit the brakes or alter their actions at all, and at the same time, the "hiding in a box" aspect of cars seems to bolster more "macho" attitudes from men an women alike, plus it makes them seem like "non-people" to others along road, which is why you'll likely see pedestrians or cyclists flipping off a driver who makes a mistake rather than extending the same courtesy they would extend to those outside of cars.
Everyone on the road is someone else's loved one. Slow down, relax, and everyone gets home safe.
Jail for those who cannot act without violence in this society, esp this psychopath who hunted and attacked the other driver while the cars were filled with kids. That's just plain SICK!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by live smarter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm

El Camino Hospital Emergency entry is in same block as St. Tim's. They have security cameras, security guards and paramedics who can help if you are being threatened near Grant rd. and of course an ER for those violent fools who shouldn't be driving.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm

@An Eye

"Everyone on the road is someone else's loved one"

Well said, to bad people don't understand that. I've noticed most people are of the attitude, "me first" and everyone else is last.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Real Dad
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 20, 2011 at 6:21 am

Anyone who has ever driven in Palo Alto lately knows that PA drivers are some of the worst, selfish, me first group of entitled folks on the road. No smiles, no courtesy, just "I'm getting in front of you" or "I'm gonna tailgate you if you're not going 35 in a 25 zone."
Anyone who resorts to violence, though, is a danger to our citizens on a whole different scale. I hope his life become filled with court fees, fines, restitution to the person he hit as well as court ordered anger management. Jailtime would be nice, but a huge monetary hit would also be a nice lesson. Ya don't punch people "Dad"(loosely termed)
If you didn't know it when this happened, you'll know why when the gavel drops.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by VW Driver
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

The Merc reports that, After the victim and a witness identified the Porsche Cayenne driving suspect in a photo line-up, police contacted him at his Palo Alto home.

This guy must have a record of activity to wind up in a police photo line-up.

I'm just disappointed the MV dad didn't get out of this car and lay him out with a few return punches in self defense.

Time to build a wall between Mountain View and Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by gEORGE
a resident of Gemello
on May 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Will we know this prize of a person's name nce they file charges? how can we find this out?


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