CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Something seemed to snap in Ashley Hatfield at the start of rush hour on Wednesday afternoon. The 23-year-old was on South Belcher Road in Clearwater, when she got so angry, according to police, she lost it during an episode of road rage.
According to her arrest report, the young woman followed an 18-year-old high school student, who was traveling with a friend, to a nearby PDQ, where she cornered the two teenagers.
What Hatfield is accused of doing next would terrify anyone.
Detectives tell us she cornered the 18-year-old driver, then got out of her car, walked over to the teen’s window and shoved a cellphone stun gun through the window, into the faces of both the teenager and the passenger.
News Channel 8 spoke with the teen driver’s father, who told us that his daughter, who is a local high school student in Clearwater, was terrified.
“We don’t want to go on camera, but my daughter was scared,” the father said.
So, what seemed to go wrong with Ashley Hatfield? Why did she reportedly snap? We tried to get the answer from the young woman at her Clearwater home, but we were told by a relative that she was not there.
The arrest of this young woman, along with the road rage arrest of another Pinellas County driver, leads to the question – what’s going on with Tampa Bay area drivers? In addition to Ashley Hatfield, a Pinellas man was just arrested for allegedly using an axe during a road rage incident.
Why are people getting so mad behind the wheel? Behavioral experts maintain nearly all of us get angry when we’re driving, but not all of us snap.
“There’s a difference between saying it, thinking it and doing it, and there are a lot of crazy, sick borderline people out there who will get out and do something. You’ve got to be careful,” said Dr. Walter Afield.
Dr. Afield is a well-known Tampa psychiatrist who has treated hundreds and hundreds of patients in his career that spans more than four decades. He explains that road rage is all about the need to control and that the anger usually has nothing to do with the other driver. It’s pent up, he said, from somewhere else. He added, while most of us get mad at other drivers, we dismiss it.
But, someone with anger issues has to seek out revenge.
“You’ve got to get control of yourself, we are just kind of losing control. It’s crazy, crazy sick behavior,” Dr. Afield told News Channel 8.STORIES THAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON
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