Far too many Americans are far too quick to engage in “road rage” in response to perceived slights while driving in their vehicles, and some take that rage against others way too far.
That appears to be the case in Tampa, Florida where a 47-year-old man is now facing felony charges after physically assaulting a 16-year-old girl after she allegedly cut him off in his Porsche in traffic, the New York Post reported.
The alleged assailant, Stephen Irvin Saunders, who reportedly cursed at and punched the girl over the purported transgression, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to felony charges including burglary and assault and was released on $15,000 bond.
According to Law & Crime, the actual criminal charge Saunders now faces is burglary of a conveyance with assault or battery, due to the fact that he reached inside of the girl’s vehicle to physically attack her.
Per the police affidavit, after the girl had allegedly cut Saunders off in traffic, he had chased her down and blocked her vehicle with his own at the next stoplight, exiting his own vehicle to approach hers and express his indignation at her traffic faux pas, and allegedly shouted, “What the f–k are you doing? You stupid b—h! You cut me off!”
“The suspect then reached into the victim’s open driver’s side window and punched her in the face with a closed fist,” the officers noted in the report. “The victim suffered redness, soreness, and bruising to the left side of her jaw. The victim is 16 years of age and has a very youthful appearance.”
It wasn’t too difficult for police to track down Saunders, as the girl had described his rather distinctive black and white Porsche 911 that had the numbers “911” emblazoned on the doors.
She also managed to pick his photo out of a lineup of pictures as her assailant, and that photo matched the one on Saunders’ driver’s license.
“Based on the investigation the suspect unlawfully entered into the victim’s occupied conveyance and committed a battery upon her,” the officers concluded. He was arrested on Saturday for the incident that had occurred two days prior, but was ultimately released after posting bond.
Attorney says there is “more to the story”
According to Florida’s Business Observer, Saunders is a self-employed investment banker unaffiliated with any actual banks in the local area.
Following Saunders’ plea of not guilty on Monday, his attorney, Kevin Napper, told the media, “We’ll let the court process play out, and there’s more to the story. You can quote me on that.”
It will be interesting to hear what “more to the story” will be revealed by Saunders and his lawyer, but it is difficult to imagine much of anything that would justify a 47-year-old grown man cursing out and physically assaulting a young and presumably inexperienced driver over a relatively minor and incredibly common perceived slight in traffic.