TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man is behind bars after he was caught on camera swinging a knife at a motorcyclist during a road rage incident Tuesday afternoon, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said Rafael Vincent Rivera, 50, of Palm Coast, was driving a silver Toyota Tacoma in Flagler County when he cut in front of a motorcyclist. The two vehicles came to a stop before deputies said Rivera got out of his truck with a knife in hand.
Concerned about a potential physical altercation, deputies said the biker grabbed his metallic knuckles. After a brief exchange of words, Rivera “stepped aggressively” toward the biker and wung his knife at him, deputies said.
In response, the biker, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, pulled out a handgun from his jacket pocket. In the video, the biker can be heard telling Rivera to back away as he points the gun at Rivera.
The incident was recorded by the biker’s passenger.
Deputies were called to the scene and where Rivera was ultimately arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
“Traffic disagreements should never result in violence in our streets,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “In this particular incident, the video captured by the victim’s wife clearly shows that her husband’s life was threatened.
“I applaud the way the motorcyclist handled this situation,” Sheriff Staly added. “After his life was clearly threatened, he lawfully defended himself and then de-escalated the situation. The offender is lucky he was not shot.”
Deputies reminded the community not to take traffic enforcement into their own hands.
”Rivera has been a guest in the Green Roof Inn four different times since 2015 on three felony and four misdemeanor charges involving theft and trespassing,” a post from the sheriff’s office Facebook page said.