A Palm Coast man was arrested Tuesday after a video showed him slashing a knife at a motorcyclist in a fit of road rage, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Rafael Vincent Rivera, 50, faces an aggravated assault charge following the confrontation just after 1 p.m. at the intersection of Pine Lakes Parkway and Whirlaway Drive, deputies said.
According to investigators, Rivera was driving in his Toyota Tacoma. The motorcycle rider claimed Rivera cut in front of him on the road, deputies said.
When both vehicles stopped, Rivera then exited his car, knife in hand, and the victim, thinking there might be a fight, grabbed his metallic knuckles, deputies said.
Video taken by a woman, who identifies herself as the victim’s wife, shows Rivera holding the knife and exchanging words with the victim.
“Get on your bike and go,” Rivera can be heard saying to the victim in the video.
Deputies said the video show Rivera then slashing at the victim, who has a concealed weapons license, and pulls out his gun in response.
The cell phone footage shows Rivera then calling 911, telling the operator that the victim pulled a gun on him.
“He pulled the gun after you swiped the knife at him,” the victim’s wife shouts as Rivera talks to the 911 operator.
WARNING: Video contains language and subject matter some may find offensive.
Deputies arrived moments later and detained both men while they investigated the incident. After viewing the video, interviewing witnesses and both parties involved, deputies arrested Rivera.
“Traffic disagreements should never result in violence in our streets. In this particular incident, the video captured by the victim’s wife clearly shows that her husband’s life was threatened. I applaud the way the motorcyclist handled this situation,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in the news release.
“After his life was clearly threatened, he lawfully defended himself and then de-escalated the situation. The offender is lucky he was not shot. I also remind the community to not take traffic enforcement in your own hands and control your anger. Call the Sheriff’s Office instead,” Sheriff Staly said.
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