Teenager attacked in road rage incident has message for other drivers

Local News

Colorado State Patrol trooper (KDVR)

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – A mother and her teenage son have a very important message about road rage, after he was attacked recently driving home from school. 

For their protection, we are not identifying them. “Alex” said, it happened as he was coming home for lunch in the middle of the day.

“I never thought in a million years this would happen. It’s pretty shocking,” he said.

He said his incident proves anyone can become a victim of road rage, and it can happen anywhere. He said he got into a fender bender with an aggressive driver and pulled over to exchange information.

“Before I got to say anything, he reached his hand into the window, grabbed my throat, choked me with his right hand. With his left hand, he was grabbing my shirt, yanking it all around, ripping it. He eventually had both hands around my neck at one point and climbed in my vehicle almost,” Alex said.

His mother, “Michelle” said, “I just couldn’t believe it, just couldn’t believe someone could do that to a child. This man was so angry and aggressive. I can’t believe somebody could be that aggressive and violent.” 

The incident was caught on camera by witnesses and turned over to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

“People are shocked that something like this could happen. What if it was an older lady or older gentleman? It could’ve been anybody. I really believe in making your mess your message and this has been such a good learning lesson. We want to tell everybody you have to be careful, you don’t know what people are going through, what they are capable of or what could set them off; through my head every single day and night that it could’ve been so much worse. We are so thankful for whatever it was that he took his hands off of my son’s neck.” 

The Colorado State Patrol says in 2018 and 2019, they had more than 80,000 calls per year for aggressive drivers. In 2020, that number dropped to 65,820. A significant drop due to the pandemic, but still a very serious concern.

“People are becoming more aggressive, whether it’s speeding or not using turn signals or trying to follow too closely. It is just something everyone needs to be aware of out there and it does happen,” Master Trooper Gary Cutler said.

”Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you are doing, you could be doing everything right and you can still have someone getting irritated by it so you just have to be cognizant. Someone may be upset with you for whatever reason or they may just be having a bad day and you’re in front of them. I can tell you to this day, I still do not know what irritated that individual,” Cutler said. 

Their best advice: let the aggressive driver pass you and get to a safe place.

“If you have the ability, get out of the way because we don’t want it to escalate. We do realize they are doing something illegal, but we also need to make sure you are going to be safe,” Cutler said.

And for all drivers: allow yourself plenty of time, check road conditions, and take some deep breaths so you don’t become the aggressive driver. 

“I am very grateful, it could’ve been much worse,” Alex said.

“I use it as a lesson to slow down, to calm down to let people around me pass. We want to tell everybody you have to be careful, you don’t know what people are going through, what they are capable of or what could set them off,” Michelle said.

The driver that assaulted Alex has been identified and was arrested. 

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