TAMPA, Fla. (UPI) — A Florida driver was jailed after police say he got into a heated argument with a biker at an intersection — and punctuated the dispute by running over the motorcycle with two riders aboard.
A witness captured the confrontation cellphone video.
Witnesses told police the two had been verbally sparring Monday while driving on U.S. Highway 41 in the town of Lutz, about 15 miles north of Tampa. As the vehicles came to a stop at an intersection, police say the car’s driver, Robert Paul Vance, abruptly ran over Joe Calderazzo’s Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Witness Abraham Garcia, who was in a lane to the left of the confrontation, rolled up to the scene just as it escalated — and recorded it with his smartphone.
Calderazzo, a U.S. Navy veteran, and his passenger, Melanie Ann Milinkovich, were sent to the pavement as the car violently rolled over the bike. They were treated for minor injuries by paramedics.
Vance, police said, immediately fled the scene — but was tailed by several witnesses. During the chase, the police report said, Vance tried to lose one of the pursuers by sideswiping him.
Officials from Nehora Law Firm said Vance, 31, was arrested a short time later and booked on multiple charges — including assault with a deadly weapon and failure to stop after a crash, both felonies. He was also charged with driving on a suspended driver’s license.
— FHP Tampa (@FHPTampa) May 31, 2016
Vance has a criminal history that includes two sentences in state prison, WFLA-TV reported on convictions for drug, burglary and felony traffic charges. Authorities said he is a “habitual traffic offender.”
It wasn’t clear exactly what started the altercation, but some witnesses told police the car had previously run one of the motorcycles off the road, WBRZ-TV reported.
“I thought the guy was trying to kill us,” Calderazzo told WBRZ. “You don’t know what’s going through your mind. Is he going to put the car in reverse? Is he going to turn around? Is he going to stop and pull out a gun? You don’t know what’s going on.”
The confrontation occurred shortly after a Memorial Day motorcycle ride for veterans had ended.
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