A 75-year-old man recently was driving his blue Tesla electric car west on U.S. Highway 92 in DeLand. When he reached the traffic light at the intersection with North Woodland Boulevard, a guy in a red Jeep behind him honked at him “because he did not turn when the light turned green.”
Before we go any further, let me say it’s probably best not to assign any partisan political labels to these two drivers. You know, like saying a guy in an electric car — especially a blue (you know, like blue states) electric car — is probably a Democrat. And like saying a guy in a red (you know, like red states) Jeep is probably a Republican. Anyway, there’s nothing in the two men’s interactions from here on out that would lead anyone to put political labels on them. So pretend I never mentioned the subject.
Tesla Man turned south onto Woodland Boulevard, and Jeep Man “kept following him closely.” Tesla Man said “he tapped on his brakes a few times so that the … Jeep would know to back away from him.”
When the Tesla turned west onto Pennsylvania Avenue, the Jeep followed. Tesla Man “hit the brakes again, but this time it caused the … Jeep to rear-end him near the intersection of N Clara Ave and W Pennsylvania Av.”
Tesla Man got out of his vehicle, approached the Jeep, and “started to ask the driver … what his problem was.” According to Tesla Man, Jeep Man began yelling at him and a quarrel ensued.
Tesla Man said “he threw a punch at [Jeep Man] while he was still inside his vehicle but he missed him.”
Jeep Man got out and attacked Tesla Man, “push[ing] him to the ground and started to punch him.” Tesla Man said “the back of his head hit the ground and it [his head, not the ground] started to bleed.”
Tesla Man told DeLand police that he wanted Jeep Man to pay for fixing the damages to his Tesla but didn’t want to press criminal charges.
Jeep Man, who was wearing scrubs, told police he was on his way to a patient’s home and that he was behind Tesla Man because Jeep Man “was following the directions of his global positioning system (GPS).”
Jeep Man said “before he reached the stop sign at N Clara and W Pennsylvania [Tesla Man] ‘slammed on his brakes’ and [Jeep Man] rear-ended the Tesla.”
Jeep Man said Tesla Man walked over to his Jeep and that Jeep Man rolled his window down so he could talk with the guy he’d rear-ended. According to Jeep Man, Tesla Man “approached his car in a rage and punched him in the face twice.”
Jeep Man said he seized Tesla Man and put him on the ground to end the 75-year-old’s attack.
A witness who requested anonymity said he saw Tesla Man punch Jeep Man in the face.
The DeLand police officer who wrote the report said he saw “fresh bruising on the left side of [Jeep Man’s] face near his left eye and it was starting to swell.”
He also saw “an open wound on the back of [Tesla Man’s] head.” The lawman saw “some scratches on [Tesla Man’s] right hand near his knuckles … [and] a cut near his right wrist.”
Jeep Man told police he wanted to press charges.
Tesla Man was arrested and taken to jail. Here’s hoping the 75-year-old didn’t beat up any of his fellow incarcerees.
— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward.