OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A 17-year-old boy was in a nearby hospital Sunday night after allegedly being struck in the face almost a dozen times by a fellow driver.
According to an incident report filed with Oklahoma City Police, the teenager told officers a white Nissan Rogue cut him off on the exit ramp heading towards SE 15th Street.
“As they came to the stoplight, the person in the vehicle that was driving erratically simply got out, walked up to the young man’s car and began punching him in the face,” explained Gary Knight with OKCPD.
The victim had his driver side window rolled down at the time of the incident which is how the suspect was able to get a hold of him, according to the report.
The incident report details the young boy getting hit in the face approximately 10 times. His top front tooth was chipped and his bottom lip had a “large cut” as a result of the assault.
“The young man did sustain some facial injuries, nothing life threatening, but he did go to the hospital and receive some treatment,” added Knight.
The victim did manage to snap some photos of the suspect, his vehicle, and the vehicle’s tag number as he was heading back to his car.
According to a recent Forbes report that sampled drivers from each state, Oklahoma ranks number four amongst the nation’s most confrontational drivers.
The report analyzed 10 key metrics from 5,000 drivers across the country.
“Drivers in the Sooner State were the third most likely in the nation to say that another driver in their state has exceeded the speed limit to block their car from changing lanes (43%), tied with New Mexico and Wyoming. They also ranked third for being forced off the road by another driver (9%), tied with Alabama and Delaware,” the report reads.
The report also claimed more than half (52%) of Oklahoma drivers were the recipient of rude or offensive gestures. These drivers also frequently reported being tailgated (66%) or honked at (69%).
More than 20% of Oklahoma drivers surveyed for this report claim knowing someone who has been injured during a road rage incident.
Oklahoma’s score is 92.86 out of 100.
The three states who ranked worse than Oklahoma are Colorado, Missouri, and Utah.
Utah is ranked number one for most confrontational drivers in the U.S. with a score of 100 out of 100.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Foster told KFOR in the last five years as a trooper, he has noticed more road rage related incidents in the metro areas.
“If someone is driving recklessly and they cut you off, it’s never a good idea to respond that way. It’s always better to call the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and let us deal with that, because if they’re being dangerous to you, they need to be stopped,” stated Trooper Foster.
Trooper Foster added road rage in itself is not a crime, but how a driver may respond after the fact could land them in handcuffs.
“When I [drivers] take it a step further and I get in front of them, hit my brakes, now that’s illegal. If I [drivers] start to run them off the road, that’s illegal. If I [drivers] make contact with the car, that’s illegal. If I [drivers] brandish a firearm, which we see quite often, that’s illegal,” said Trooper Foster.
Because there is no Oklahoma statute for road rage, drivers wouldn’t lose their driver’s license for that.
“However, there could be things involved in that incident, specifically where a judge may say, you’re a danger to the motoring public and you shouldn’t have a driver’s license, but that’s up to the judge,” stated Trooper Foster.
Trooper Foster said he understands the frustration that comes with driving, but to essentially not lose your cool as it could cost you.
“Oklahoma, we need to take care of each other. And if someone is being a danger to not just you, but to anybody else around, you need to reach out to law enforcement. That’s why we’re there. We have a presence and we will respond,” said Trooper Foster.
The suspect in Sunday night’s road rage incident has not yet been identified.
“We certainly want to get this guy identified because you can’t just drive around the city like that, cutting people off and then getting out and beating them up. You just can’t do that. So we want to get this person identified and off the streets and make sure he’s not a threat or a menace to anyone else on the roadway,” said Knight.
Anyone who may have information regarding the suspect is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 405-235-7300 or toll free at 1-800-632-TIPS.