Last week a video went viral of a woman videotaping an alleged "road rage" in Florida that went viral. Today, Polk County had it's own alleged road rage incident. This too was captured on a cell phone video and is sure to make the rounds on news stations all throughout the country.
The alleged incident happened at a Winter Haven McDonald's drive-thru. Howard Carl Wilson was arrested for simple battery, but the charges could be more serious. The McDonald's in question uses the side-by-side ordering system. Once a vehicle orders, they merge with the other vehicles placing orders at the other station. The police allege the driver became upset after he was caught off by the other driver. The suspect allegedly would not allow the person to close the door, yelled racial slurs and profanities, and punched the other driver. The suspect then allegedly left the scene and was arrested later at his home for simple battery, a 1st degree misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by up to a year in jail.
The charges could become more serious. Because the alleged victim was in their vehicle at the time of the alleged battery, the suspect could be charged with burglary of a conveyance with a battery. What does that mean in plain language? Anytime you break into a home or vehicle with the intent to commit a crime inside the home or vehicle, that is a burglary. A vehicle is a "conveyance". If you break into a vehicle (a conveyance) and assault or batter (hit) someone, it is a 1st degree felony punishable by up to term of years not exceeding life imprisonment. That means a judge could sentence the person to any amount of years, such as 1,000 years in prison, but not give a life sentence. As you can see, this is potentially a very serious crime!
The video can bee seen here: http://tbo.com/news/crime/cellphone-video-drive-thru-rage-at-mcdonalds-in-polk-20140331/
The police will turn their evidence over to the prosecutor. An "intake" prosecutor will review the video and speak to the witnesses and determine what charges will be formally filed. That means the crime charged could change from a misdemeanor to a more serious felony. This is why it is important that you hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately so that the attorney can start working for you and explain to the prosecutor why more serious charges should not be filed! In some cases, a criminal defense lawyer can convince a prosecutor to not even file charges.
If you have been arrested, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
The consultation is FREE so there is no reason not to call immediately to protect your rights and your future!
Thomas C. Grajek - 863-838-5549