My wife and I were driving home one evening on the interstate. We were talking while we cruised along towards home, when I realized I was about to pass our exit. I glanced in the rear view mirror and just barely made it onto the exit ramp. Suddenly there was the sound of a blaring car horn. To my right another car was passing me on the off ramp. Then, he did what I would not have expected. He swerved his car over into mine, slamming into my right front fender. I slammed on my brakes to get away from him. He cut back across in front of me and accelerated on down the exit ramp.
My wife was on the phone calling 911. When she got the Sheriff’s Office on the line, she handed the phone to me. I told the 911 operator who I was. She remembered me from the fifteen years I spent as a Deputy Sheriff with Lee County Florida. I told her in detail what had just happened. I told her I was following the hit and run driver at a safe distance. At one point the driver slowed to turn left, at which point we were able to advise of his tag number. The driver took a few more turns and stopped. I was carrying a snub nose 38 Special, and I kept it low and out of sight as I rolled down my window about four inches. The other driver was getting out of his car and started walking towards us. I called out loudly to him, “Stop right there. I have the Sheriff’s Office on the phone. A deputy is on the way. Just wait right there. Don’t come any closer!” The other driver got back into his car and turned into a retirement mobile home park. I decided to wait near the entrance, for the deputy.
Within a few minutes, a deputy arrived. I introduced myself as a retired deputy, and described to him what happened. I included the fact that I had most likely changed lanes a little too close. He got the name and address of the other driver from the tag number I had given him, and he drove into the park. After about twenty minutes, the deputy came back out. He grinned as he told me the guy denied everything. The guy claimed he had not used the car all day, yet his engine was still warm. The deputy wrote him several traffic tickets including “hit and run.”
Several months later, I got a subpoena to appear in traffic court. The guy was pleading “Not Guilty.” I called the prosecutor. I suggested that he inform the other driver’s attorney that I was a retired deputy. The prosecutor called me back about an hour later and told me the other driver decided to plead guilty!
I do not advise doing what I did in the above scenario. Following an offender might just enrage them even more.
1. Don’t get road rage yourself!
2. If they are following too close, speed up a little to increase the distance between you and the other driver.
3. Look for an area to turn off.
4. Always leave room in front of your car to pull away and escape!
5. If the other driver tries to confront you, dial 911 while you to drive away.
6. Give 911 your location, direction of travel, the description of your car and the other car and driver.
7. You really don’t know who you are dealing with. They could be a wanted felon for all you know.
9. If your car is disabled and you cannot escape, I hope you are armed and trained, in case the enraged driver attacks you.
9. Drawing a gun inside a car presents a whole new set of problems to overcome. Getting your gun out while seated, especially getting past your seat belt, shift knob and steering wheel, takes a lot of practice. Inside your car, practice drawing with an empty gun.
10.Remember: You cannot use deadly force, unless and until you are threatened with deadly force. You cannot threaten someone with deadly force, just because he looks angry.
11.Do what I did; shout loud and clear, “The Cops have been called and are on their way!” If he comes closer, yell loud and clear, “Back away! Do not come any closer!”
12. Do NOT show your gun unless you are actually threatened with deadly force.