SALT LAKE CITY – A road rage incident resulted in a brutal beating Monday night, and one man is recovering from injuries as another is facing criminal charges.
A young man, his fiance and his 4-year-old niece were travelling by car to Sherwood Park, and during the drive they said another woman in an SUV tried to pass them.
Michael, who requested that his and his fiance’s last names not be used, said the woman waved her hands in the air and looked angry, but they didn’t think anything of it until a man confronted them on the playground 15 minutes later.
“We get to the park, and I'm playing with my niece and the next thing I know I see this guy coming up to me,” Michael said. “He's like, ‘Hey you. Can I talk to you for a minute?’”
Michael said he had never seen the man, and he didn’t even get to talk to him before the attack began.
“Before I could say anything he started hitting me, punching me in the face,” he said.
Michael’s fiance, Carissa, said she was afraid for Michael’s life.
“I thought he was gonna kill him,” she said. “I told him to stop, and he didn't care. He told me, ’shut up!’”
Carissa said the attack became increasingly brutal.
“He got him on the ground, and then he started kicking his stomach, and then he went for his head, and then he bashed on his head twice, and I ran and I got on top of his body like this so he would stop,” she said.
Carissa said it was an intervention by a man who was playing baseball nearby that finally ended the assault.
“I'm so thankful to God because this guy came with a bat, and he stood right next to my fiance,” she said.
Detective Mike Hamideh, Salt Lake City Police Department, said the man who intervened saw the danger of the situation and responded.
“He used that show of force; at that time he thought the injuries and the assault was that imminent and dangerous that he interceded that way,” he said.
And Carissa described the suspect’s reaction to that intercession, “He ran away like a coward.”
Hamideh said they were able track the suspect down after he fled.
“Because of good witness information, we were able to locate that suspect who had left the park before officers got there,” he said.
Michael suffered a broken nose and a concussion in the attack.
“For all I know I could have lost my fiance yesterday over road rage,” Carissa said.
The suspect in the assault is a 29-year-old male. Hamideh said the suspect was cited rather than arrested.
“The individual met the state requirements to be issued a citation versus being booked into jail,” he said. “He cooperated, and there wasn't any indications there would be continued violence, so he was issued a citation. So ultimately he promises to appear in court. It's similar to a summons.”
Hamideh said people should be aware of the potential dangers that can come from road rage.
“If you come across a situation like this, and you feel that you're being followed, call 911, because you don't know who's in that car,” he said. “You don't know what kind of history that person has, or how upset or capable they are of injuring you.”