- Jun 13th 2012 at 3:30PM
Tampa Woman Rams Car, Punches 2 Victims In Road Rage Episode
Police caution motorists to not engage angry drivers
Police have always warned law-abiding motorists that they should not engage with drivers who have a case of road rage. It's always smarter to take a license plate number, and if needed, call 911.
In case you need an example as to why that's the best course of action, check out a cautionary tale that comes from Tampa this week.
Therese O'Neill, 29, changed lanes to overtake a slowing car on Tampa Road in Pinellas County. When she came to a stop at a light, she noticed the driver behind her throwing a fit. Bonnie N. Coleman, 31, apparently objected to the lane change.
Coleman then repeatedly rammed O'Neill's car and tried to push it through the red light and into the intersection. O'Neill threw her own car into reverse, and tried to push back. Then she made a mistake. She got out of her car.
Coleman did to, and came out throwing haymakers. A witness to the incident tried to make peace – and wound up with a fractured eye socket. Coleman, whom police arrested, hit the witness too.
That's not the only road-rage case that has made headlines in recent days.
In the Chicago suburbs, the conviction of road-rage murderer Jesus Rodriguez, 54, was upheld in an appellate court ruling Tuesday.
On Aug. 29, 1981, Rodriguez tailed a vehicle in which he had an incident to a gas station and, armed with a pistol, confronted the driver of that vehicle. John Spoors, a passenger in that car, was shot and killed as he tried to flee.
In another ongoing case, a motorcyclist shot during a road-rage incident over Memorial Day weekend asked prosecutors on Tuesday to file charges against a 65-year-old man accused of shooting Keith Randell in the chest.
Road rage incidents are often hard for authorities to analyze as a set because aggressive driving can be measured from the obvious, such as the incidents mentioned above, to making rude gestures and honking the horn.
But a story from the AAA Foundation analyzed more than 10,000 suspected road-rage incidents over the past seven years and found they resulted in at least 218 murders and 12,610 injuries.