Police: 13-block 'road-rage' incident ends with pepper spray, slap

Police: 13-block 'road-rage' incident ends with pepper spray, slap

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OREM — One driver cutting off another quickly escalated into a road-rage incident that spanned 13 blocks Tuesday, police said.

The incident started near 1300 S. State St. on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Orem Police Department. Lt. Craig Martinez said the two drivers, one man and one woman, continued cutting each other off, speeding up and following each other too closely until they reached Orem’s Center Street.

When the man stopped and got out of his vehicle, the woman nudged his car from behind.

“He comes out to her driver’s side window, at which time she feels threatened and pepper-sprays the guy,” Martinez said. “While she’s pepper-spraying him, he’s kind of putting his hand up to block it and slaps the (woman) in the face.”

We ended up seeing that both of them were kind of the aggressor.

–Lt. Craig Martinez

Officers arrived on scene at about the same time as the confrontation, according to Martinez.

“We ended up seeing that both of them were kind of the aggressor,” he said. “(Regardless) of who it started with, they both continued their behavior and that’s why they were both cited with disorderly conduct.”

The case will be reviewed to determine whether other charges, like reckless driving, will be made, according to Martinez. He said the incident could have had a much worse ending and cautioned against becoming involved in a road-rage incident.

“The thing I always try to tell people is we’re all driving basically weapons — these big heavy cars. They can hurt people if used in the wrong way,” Martinez said. “Let’s say you do get cut off and involved in a road-rage incident. You never know who you’re dealing with, whether this is someone who is on the edge of having a mental breakdown. We’ve had cases like this where people have been shot and killed.”

Contributing: Dave Cawley

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