Road Rage

I haven’t shared this story here mostly because I’ve been recuperating from the long holiday weekend, but also because I don’t know how exceptional or out-of-the-ordinary it is.

Suffice it to say I witnessed (along with my four-year-old) a pathetic display of human frailty recently: road rage.

I had just picked Raelyn (my daughter) up from daycare on Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. The road, Spring Street between 10th and 14th, was completely packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Directly in front of me was a shoddy Nissan Maxima, windows rolled down, driver dangling a cigarette out of the window. In front of him was a new Toyota Tacoma truck, UGA plates.

In the stop-and-go of traffic flow, the Maxima slammed on his brakes and came within in inches of hitting the Tacoma. I couldn’t tell if he actually made contact but within seconds of stop, the driver of the Tacoma was out of his truck and walking towards the tailgate.

He quickly examined the bumper, decided their was damage/contact, strode confidently up to the window of the Maxima and swung his right leg through the opening in an impromptu display of street martial arts. I couldn’t tell if he actually landed his blow, but a few seconds later the dazed Maxima driver opened his door and confronted the Tacoma driver face-to-face.

There were no words exchanged, just puffed chests and vicious stares. Both men reluctantly, slowly got back in their cars.

I was stunned, to say the least. I sat their mouth agape and asked my daughter if she had seen what I had. She could only nod her agreement. Even a fellow driver, likewise trapped in her car with a front-row seat, rolled down her window to confirm what we’d both witnessed.

Traffic eventually petered out and as the Tacoma feigned a right turn onto 10th, he sped through the intersection only to have the Maxima race after him. Concerned that the previous altercation might escalate to greater violence – like a wreck involving multiple other cars – I called 911.

I felt like an idiot hurriedly explaining what I’d just seen, my mind and my speech racing. I thought for sure this was the kind of phone call and situation that would get me into Creative Loafing’s Blotter. Either way I felt I had an obligation to let someone know about what I’d seen, I’d hope my fellow Atlantans would not only do the same but try a little bit to avoid just such a situation.

9 Comments so far

  1. BTI (unregistered) on September 6th, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

    Go dawgs indeed. I’m sticking to public transit where it’s safe!


  2. EA (unregistered) on September 6th, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    I certainly hope that’s an extraordinary occurrence. When I read what happened, my mouth dropped open in shock, too. Wow. Just…wow.


  3. Maigh (unregistered) on September 6th, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

    All I can say is: yuck.


  4. romanlily (unregistered) on September 7th, 2007 @ 2:07 pm

    Holy cow! As I read your account, my jaw dropped open, too. What a stunning story.

    Deep breathing, folks. Deep breathing.


  5. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on September 7th, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    Lauren Keating (a.k.a. The Blotter Diva) finds gets her weird stories from police reports, not 911 calls.

    File a police report.

    Make sure you say something weird in it.

    Maybe piss in a garbage can at the Wendy’s on Moreland Ave.

    That’s how you get in The Blotter.


  6. atlpaddy (unregistered) on September 8th, 2007 @ 1:04 am

    Where were the cops? Why didn’t they do something about it? Oh yeah, I forgot, there are no police in Atlanta anymore.


  7. John Weisel (unregistered) on September 8th, 2007 @ 10:12 am

    Big cities offer far more chance of witnessing or being part of a random act of violence. You were lucky.


  8. Mary Jo DiLonardo (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2007 @ 7:29 am

    I thought this kind of stuff was just a big-city thing until I was in Cincinnati recently and saw similar behavior on the sleepy west side. An older guy bolted out of his rusty Accord when he thought a hasty teenager (radio blaring) had dented his fender. My dad and I were speechless when the older guy yelled, fist in the air, “DON’T GO ANYWHERE!” as he waved his cell phone to call police. At least he wasn’t waving a gun.


  9. Mary Jo DiLonardo (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2007 @ 7:55 am

    I thought this kind of stuff was just a big-city thing until I was in Cincinnati recently and saw similar behavior on the sleepy west side. An older guy bolted out of his rusty Accord when he thought a hasty teenager (radio blaring) had dented his fender. My dad and I were speechless when the older guy yelled, fist in the air, “DON’T GO ANYWHERE!” as he waved his cell phone to call police. At least he wasn’t waving a gun.



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