A Good Samaritan sustained a slash to his hand Wednesday evening while attempting to intervene in a road rage incident that escalated into the two angry drivers brandishing weapons.
Saanich police say the incident began around 6:30 p.m. when the driver of a Volkswagen Jetta cut off a Volkswagen van at the intersection of Quadra Street and Hillside Avenue in Victoria.
Sgt. Steve Eassie says witnesses described the Jetta driver, a 47-year-old Surrey man, as driving in an “erratic” manner.
Both vehicles continued north along Quadra to McKenzie Avenue where the 31-year-old exited his van and asked the Jetta driver to roll down his window to confront him about his driving behaviour.
“At some point the 47-year-old exited his vehicle brandishing a knife and a hammer. The other driver retreated to his vehicle and obtained a metal portion from a steering-wheel anti-theft device,” Eassie said.
As the two drivers were engaged in a physical altercation, a 51-year-old Saanich man stepped in and broke up the fight. He received a cut to his hand from the utility knife while intervening.
Both drivers were detained and taken to the Saanich Police Department for questioning. The 31-year-old was released without charges. The 47-year-old faces two counts of assault with a weapon.
“Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had people that have perhaps caused us to have an adverse reaction when we’re driving that caused us to react in a negative way. It’s how we handle that that’s really the key here,” Eassie said. “If you have concern about the manner that someone else is driving, the best route is to contact the police agency and allow them to follow up with the driver.”
He suggests never engaging another driver in the heat of the moment.
“Always the best rule of thumb is if you have the time to turn off, turn off into a parking lot, gather your thoughts, and make sure you don’t react adversely,” Eassie said.
The 47-year-old is expected to appear in court in December.