Local News

Jun 24, 2014 1:42 PM by Sara Donchey

CCPD Warns Public to Keep Cool in Midst of Road Rage Disputes

CORPUS CHRISTI -- A day after a woman was punched in a restaurant parking lot over a driving dispute, police are warning drivers to stay cool in a traffic dispute.

Fifty-seven-year-old Robert Thomas was arrested for allegedly punching a woman in the face a Whataburger parking lot at South Padre Island Drive and Crosstown.

According to police, Thomas was angry that a woman parked near the drive thru was blocking his truck.

The victim, whose name is not being released, was taken to the hospital with injuries to her face and head.

Twenty-five-year-old Aaron Juarez was killed in a similar incident at a Southside parking lot last year, after a man punched him; he fell, hit his head, and later died.

Last month, police sentenced David Alvarez to two years in prison for criminally negligent homicide in that case.

Police concede that it can be easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment; a snarky confrontation can spin out of control and end in a violent attack, like the one yesterday.

But what should you do if you find yourself caught up in a similar situation?

Corpus Christi Police Officer Marc Harrod said the best thing to do is to walk away.

"The best situation is to move on," Harrod said. "Get yourself out of that situation, call the police, (and) let us go over there...Get a good description of the (suspect) and let us contact him. Don't put yourself in the situation where you're out of the vehicle confronting him."

Even though you may get frustrated with another driver, police say it's not worth hurting someone or ending up in jail.

If you punch someone and are convicted of aggravated assault, you could face up to 20 years in prison and a $10 thousand dollar fine.

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