No one likes to get cut off in traffic, but today’s story gives a whole new meaning to the concept of road rage.
Whereas cursing in one’s car might be a heated, yet legal strategy for dealing with traffic frustrations, a 43-year-old New Jersey man behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius apparently got into a chase with a motorcyclist. The two drivers had been stopped at a traffic light on Route 22, and the motorcyclist passed the man after the light changed.
It’s unclear why the initial passing angered the driver, although the motorcyclist admitted to making an obscene gesture at one point. For that alleged rudeness, the man chased behind the motorcyclist, allegedly to the point of almost forcing him into the center road barrier. According to witness testimony, the motorcyclist’s repeated attempts to speed away were met with the driver’s acceleration and catching up.
The driver was charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony, as well as the lesser charges of reckless endangerment, reckless driving and simple assault. According to reports, the apparent litigation hazards and other factors convinced him to plead guilty to the felony charge.
Readers may associate the charge of assault with person-to-person contact, in settings such as a bar fight or a robbery. This story illustrates that disputes or altercations can also occur behind the wheel. Yet regardless of the setting, the degree of an assault charge can be affected by many factors, including whether a weapon was involved and whether any physical harm came of the alleged incident. An attorney that specializes in assault and other criminal defense matters will know the specific factors pertaining to such charges, and how to raise a strong defense.