Reader report: Road rage on, and off, the West Seattle Bridge

From a longtime WSB’er – who begins her note, “My family was almost killed today on the WS bridge” – a road-rage report. Read on:

We were driving over the top crest of the bridge and crossed into the center lane to allow a semi to get in the far right. Before I did it I looked back to make sure no one was in that lane. The only car I saw was a white jeep about 2 blocks away and the lane was clear so I went to allow the semi to move over. About a minute later I had to think quick to avoid a collision with the semi to my right when that same white jeep came within inches of the driver side front-end very close to side-swiping us. He cut right in front of our car and I had to try not to hit him. We let him drive ahead after a loud honk and that was that.

He drove way ahead and was driving behind another car; eventually at the bend we drove past his right side. We made a special effort to ignore him and not make eye-contact. We weren’t chasing him, it was just the way the traffic had gone, and we began to move to the end of the bridge in the center lane.

At the stop I was talking to my husband and I saw him about a block away begin to dodge out from behind the car he was following and started speeding toward our car.

We were stopped waiting for the light at 35th in the center lane and were locked in. He came up from behind fast and came over to our right hand side and tried to side-swipe our car again! I had nowhere to go so I was lurching forward and when he got near and when he followed I would put on my brakes in an effort to shake him.

The light changed and we were able to drive but there were still no left-turn options and he tried to sideswipe our car on the passenger side again – he had his window rolled down too. He was 2 inches from our door. My husband – who is an SPD officer – was yelling to go and get away from him as he clearly was crazy while my 3-year-old screamed in back. I couldn’t take a left turn and was stuck next to him trying to not engage but to just get away from him. Eventually he gave up and drove off to the right, taking the Oregon St. exit toward the Junction.

This man was in his mid-to late 50s, had a colorful tattoos on the left wrist that went up the arm (red, yellow, blue) was balding, gray and wore glasses. He was driving a white jeep with a PEACE (!!) sign on the rear-view. We hope that he puts no one else in the danger he put us in today. We literally could have died on that bridge today.

40 Replies to "Reader report: Road rage on, and off, the West Seattle Bridge"

  • onceachef June 15, 2011 (3:37 pm)

    Did you get his license plate number? Being an SPD officer, your husband should be able to run the plates and have someone from the PD “visit” him. Also, I don’t recommend “hitting your brakes” to try and shake someone….pull off the road, get somewhere public, and call the police…you had a cell phone in the car? Oh…and sorry you went through that…I’m sure it was stressful.

  • michael anderson June 15, 2011 (3:41 pm)

    Did you get a license plate # and report it?

  • Bligs Mander June 15, 2011 (3:41 pm)

    This guy also cut me off on the bridge the other morning as well and came very close to rear-ending another car. Same white Jeep and balding guy. I didnt get the license, but this description is exactly the same. Someone needs to get him off the road!!

  • JanS June 15, 2011 (3:42 pm)

    Thanks for the description. I hope everyone , including his family, sees this and looks out for him. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I can’t imagine life being so tough that something as simple as traffic would be so life stressful enough to set someone off like this. Wow!

  • csw June 15, 2011 (3:46 pm)

    if you husband is SPD, can’t he look into this this? I’ll keep my eyes open for this idiot driver. I had someone cut in front of us on the bridge too, barely missing us. What is happening to the world, 20 years ago you never heard of this AND people knew how to merge properly!

  • Al June 15, 2011 (4:02 pm)

    Call 911. Report it here as well:

    If I had someone attacking me like that I wouldn’t hesitate calling 911 – did you?

    …yelling back at someone will only intensify the situation even if you are with SPD.

  • itsme June 15, 2011 (4:02 pm)

    There was NOWHERE to pull off the road. To the left was oncoming traffic with no left turns (starbucks). To the right was crazyman. He was sliding his car about an inch from our passenger side door locking us in. The only option was to go forward fast and when he followed I tried to stop so he would race forward. It was very chaotic and scary and my husband’s concern was with our safety. Because we needed to get away from him fast we were more than happy to see him go. SPD off-duty officers cannot randomly run plates without cause/report its against policy (*which I plan to file if he’s reading)and he was off-duty.

    I wrote this in the hopes that others like Bligs Mander saw him and to protect others.

  • husky June 15, 2011 (4:05 pm)

    Totally understand with the wife and kid in the car to try and get away. Had similiar experience with my 4 year old in the car. But can’t off duty SPD officers do something, or call in someone to get this guy as it happened?

  • itsme June 15, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    fyi – happened between 2:15-2:30 today. I just filed the report.

  • itsmeagain June 15, 2011 (4:38 pm)

    We wish it went that way but literally it was just too crazy before you knew it we were driving one way towards fauntleroy and he flew up the hill on Oregon. Because he was trying to hit the side my husband was on he was more concerned about what the guy was going to do – like pulling a weapon on us – and didn’t have time to call the police. We had no intention to hunt him down after he turned because he was NUTS. Anyway thanks everyone for the concern. I am being told now the report is a waste of time too without a plate, name, address they don’t follow the reports if another one comes in. I’ve done it its there but doesn’t give the police a way to get him. So just keep your eyes peeled and be safe.

  • Cuidado June 15, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    I hate people like this. Complete disregard for others’ lives, including young children. So much anger, you never know when they will blow up.

  • NinjaRider June 15, 2011 (5:05 pm)

    @itsme: Ask your husband if SPD runs a combat driving course for officers’ spouses… some departments do. Would be worth it if things are getting interesting out there…

    Thanks for the report. I’ll keep my helmet on a swivel for him.

  • ttt June 15, 2011 (5:47 pm)

    Call 911 next time. I called 911 for 3 honda civics going N. bound on I-5 racing each other while slinking in and out of lanes, nearly hitting others and putting everyone else on the freeway in danger on Saturday. Your husband should know to call 911 if you were in that much danger… I’ll keep my eye out for this guy, as I don’t want to have my family put in danger…

  • kit k June 15, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    Oh my. I have been menaced by a white Jeep on the bridge as well. Something needs to be done. I am so sorry you and especially your child had to feel such fear!

  • MEJ June 15, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    How hard would it be for a state law enforcement computer to locate a car with a few simple variables: make, model, and zip code?

  • Alki resident June 15, 2011 (6:21 pm)

    There are cameras on the bridge,there should be a way to rewind to time of day this happened and get plate number.

  • J June 15, 2011 (6:30 pm)

    Your description is quite specific, and is likely to ring a bell with someone. If a reader who recognizes the driver in question simply gets the Jeep’s license number, and you have filed a report with the description, would the police be able to put the two pieces of information together? It does sound, with more than one close call with the same character mentioned in the comments, that this person is a tragedy waiting to happen, and I would hope the police would try to prevent that.

  • AJP June 15, 2011 (9:16 pm)

    My mom had a similar experience once, she picked up her phone and didn’t even have to actually dial 911, just looking like she was about to, the guy backed way off and left her alone.

  • Emmyjane June 15, 2011 (9:27 pm)

    The irony of having a peace sticker….

  • bebecat June 15, 2011 (9:41 pm)

    My Dad always said “If you get too many people living too close together they will turn on each other like rats.” He was so right!

  • csw June 15, 2011 (10:08 pm)

    Believe me, I will keep my eye out for this guy and call 911. Makes me so angry. I can’t believe one of the other people near you didn’t call and report what was happening. Take care!

  • Dunno June 15, 2011 (10:17 pm)

    Noticed more aggressive driving as of late. The viaduct change, economy, lack of driving skills, lack of manners, all to blame. In this case, hope this guy is located before someone else gets hurt.

  • SaraJeanQueen June 15, 2011 (10:45 pm)

    Agree J — everyone be on the lookout for this guy, speeding or not, and let’s get his plates. Report to the police or post here.

    I agree there are some crazies on the bridge going west-bound… and I’m not even a driving angel. But seriously going up that hill slope, you don’t need to put the pedal to the metal and speed over 45 or 50 — what’s the point!? Some annoying drivers like to tailgate and speed past you, and then just like this poster mentioned, they’ll be right next to you (awkwardly) at the first stop light. Jerks.

  • J June 15, 2011 (11:37 pm)

    SaraJeanQueen, I don’t think posting a license plate number here is a good idea (and I rather suspect it’s against blog policy). I don’t know that giving the number to the police would be helpful–that’s why I asked–but perhaps a person with the license plate could get that information to WSB, who could then pass it to the person to whom this happened, so that they could include the information in a report?

    • WSB June 15, 2011 (11:54 pm)

      J is correct, no third-party information that would fully identify someone – that is something the police need, not the general public at large, so if anyone has a plate or a tip, please contact police. (We do show plates IF they are for example stolen cars whose owners themselves volunteer the information.) – TR

  • samson June 16, 2011 (6:46 am)

    Oh no, hope this baldy guy who will be caught someday after he dumped all of karmas on innocent people on WS bridge. I believe I freaked out by him. I am NOT going to let that happen. If I see that guy again. Hope someone could agree with me to take their time driving on the bridge with normal speed. what is his &*()$#@ problem by hurting people, freaking people out? I could be aggressive driver but I can’t since I want to be Seattle driver!!!

    I could have a gut to take a picture or video if i see him behind me or being near me…

    BALDY GUY, you better watch out!!! Hope it is Jeep Liberty… not different Jeep…

  • mo June 16, 2011 (7:19 am)

    I have seen this guy more than once leaving in the morning, and have laughed at the peace sign because he is always being a jack-@$&

  • 44th Neighbor June 16, 2011 (7:24 am)

    So sorry to hear that. I had a similar experience in smother part of town recently… In the moment, your fight or flight instincts take over and you’re just focused on survival. No abllity to pick up the phone and make a call. Glad you’re safe.

  • CandrewB June 16, 2011 (8:34 am)

    Doubtful the prosecutor would want to do anything at this point since there were no injuries. Not saying it’s right, just resources and all.

  • NotMe June 16, 2011 (8:56 am)

    CandrewB is right… besides, there is a not-so-old saying:
    There are 3 sides to every story –
    1. the crazyman
    2. the innocent wife of the off-duty SPD driver
    3. the truth

  • KBear June 16, 2011 (11:04 am)

    Wow. I’ll be on the lookout for him, too.

  • SpokaneFan June 16, 2011 (11:21 am)

    Does anyone else recall when the SPD got the Dodge Chargers? The SPD introduced them with much media PR fanfare, saying they were going to be used for their aggressive driving task-force. They said they would be out driving amongst us, mitigating incidents exactly like the one described here. The inference seemed to be that these hot Chargers would put them on equal footing with aggressive drivers. The program appeared to begin this way, but now I mostly see them parked in speed traps.
    I realize the police can’t be omnipresent, but the idea was to make people feel they could be anywhere, anytime; much like plain clothes officers on random Metro buses, or marshals on commercial air flights. I am a fan of the average SPD officer, & know a few from church, etc. Some of the policy-makers at SPD leave me wondering, however.
    I realize that stationary speed enforcement does serve a purpose, produces a lot of revenue in a short period of time (And no, I’ve no axe to grind; my last speeding ticket was 27 years ago on Admiral Way & it wasn’t a radar speed trap-I was paced).
    Count me as one person who would like to see the Chargers back in the traffic flow, catching the jerks that are using their cars as weapons.

  • MAS June 16, 2011 (1:08 pm)

    This is why I often have my cameraphone recording video (from it’s holder) while I drive. If nothing interesting happened, I delete the video later. Now I can start reviewing video for white Jeeps.

  • biankat June 16, 2011 (2:22 pm)

    I had an agressive driver experience down near Chehalis. The guy was towing a BOAT no less — creating havoc for all of us cruising right along just fine. He zeroed in on me for some reason, so I visibly got on my phone to call my husband with his plate info…just in case something happened. As soon as he saw me with a phone to my ear he noticably slowed down and drove like a sane person. I sidled up next to him to get his plate info and a physical description. He didn’t give me the time of day and got off on the next exit. Jackhole.

  • Linda June 16, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    The driver loonies must be out this week. I had a road rage experience with a complete lunatic driving a Bowie Electric Service van on the northbound viaduct on Tuesday around 5:45 p.m. Apparently, he did not like that people were slowing down to get around the car that was on fire on the shoulder of the northbound lanes. If it wasn’t so dangerous it would have been hilarious – idiot was literally shaking his fist and yelling while getting right up on the bumpers of people who were in his way. Must have been a REALLY important service call. I’ll certainly never use Bowie Electric. Imagine someone like that showing up at your house – no thanks!

  • oddreality June 16, 2011 (3:22 pm)

    Wonder if this is the same guy from the July 11 aggressive driver report? He was in a tan truck but the rest seems to fit.Certainly could have two motor vehicles.
    Scary no matter what. Will keep my eye out for the tan truck and the white jeep.

  • Recall McGinn June 16, 2011 (4:32 pm)

    Camera phones are extremely useful for documenting episodes as this. Take video, pictures, whatever it takes.

    This angry bald freak is going to do some serious damage if he is not dealt with.

  • KBear June 17, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    Anybody have a neighbor with a tan truck and white jeep? (Probably parked on the front lawn…)

  • MMB June 18, 2011 (11:31 am)

    Think I recently had this guy try to crawl up my exhaust pipe eastbound Roxbury early a.m. Not much traffic, as I tooled along he passed me – started crawling up someone else’s exhaust pipe. I can’t use my phone while driving but I am good at remembering numbers, in case I see this again. RE: SPD Dodge Chargers: during the school year, one of them lurks near the church/school on Roxbury near the Salvadoran Bakery in the a.m. and gives out numerous tickets there. I think that’s fine, but it is incredible how much time he spends in that spot. He should circulate around a bit more, IMHO.

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