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"Never a dull moment": SR-82 fight in Lehigh Acres-Gateway area shocks drivers

The Lee County Sheriff's Office needs your help identifying a suspect from a road rage situation on SR 82 that happened around 8 Wednesday morning.
Posted at 11:41 AM, Apr 10, 2024

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.:

Fox 4 has obtained the police report from the incident, which details what reportedly happened.

According to Lee County deputies, they responded to the area for reports of a crash. When deputies arrived, they were told a road rage incident may have caused the accident.

The driver of the black Ford F-350 told deputies he was in traffic on Gunnery Road and State Road 82. He says the driver in front of him got out and approached his truck window.

He says without warning, the driver of the car — a shirtless man — started yelling and hit the driver of the truck in the face through the open window.

He started backing up his truck to avoid being hit again. The man said he stopped the truck and the shirtless man started going towards him again.

The report states the shirtless man opened the truck door, pulled the driver out and pushed him to the ground.

The man said he was punched and dragged. At one point, he told deputies he was able to get back up. That's when he said he went to his truck for an object in order to defend himself.

The shirtless man started to back up at that point, the report said. The truck's driver said he could not remember if he grabbed a machete from the truck or a piece of pipe.

Deputies say the shirtless man ended up getting back in his car and driving away. However, the report says he came back to the area and began yelling threats stating, "he will be back."

A license plate number or a better description of the driver could not be provided to deputies. The truck driver did have several injuries to his back, left side, and over his eye. Deputies believe it may have been caused by the fight.

When questioned about the weapon, the truck driver said he did not hit the shirtless man because he was "nervous and scared and did not want to get in trouble."

Detectives attempted to get traffic footage of the area, but said the cameras were not working during the time of the incident.

"We are continuing our efforts to identify the suspect by reviewing nearby camera footage and completing a canvass. Members of the public are encouraged to call us if they can identify the suspect at 1-800-780-TIPS," the Lee County Sheriff's Office told Fox 4.

Fox 4 Gateway and Lehigh Acres Community Correspondent Ella Rhoades went out to the area and asked drivers what they thought of the video.

"I think it's crazy...For somebody to come at somebody with a machete," said Tonya Passmore. "I don't feel like they are thinking of the long time consequences. They're just caught up in the moment."

Many people had a hard time believing what they saw.

One person said, "Just unacceptable. I mean no matter what the situation. You can't just attack somebody no matter what."

They all agreed violence wasn't the answer.

"I've never seen anything like that before. Ever," Passmore said.

ORIGINAL STORY:

During morning rush hour, drivers in Gateway came to a complete stop as a road rage incident unfolded in between Gateway and Lehigh Acres. Fox 4 first found out about it because its Community Correspondents are so connected to individual communities including Gateway and Lehigh Acres.

A witness to the incident gave us this video and the audio has been removed due to expletives.

The woman says around 7:45 a.m. near State Road 82 and Daniels Parkway a truck and a car were pulled over in the westbound lanes. Before she started recording, she saw two men throwing punches.

When she got her phone out, video recorded a man holding an object run aggressively towards the shirtless man by the car. The video doesn't clearly show what the object was. A third person held that man back.

They went back to the truck where video shows that same man grab what the witness said was a large pipe. The same man again went towards the shirtless man and ended up throwing the pipe at him.

"No one was going ahead of me because everyone was watching the fight," the witness told Fox 4. "Never a dull moment out in these Lehigh streets."

The incident showed up as an active traffic incident on the Lee County Sheriff's Office website just before 8 a.m. The sheriff's office is working on Fox 4's request for more information.