Home News Florida man pulls knife in road-rage incident, victim pulls gun

Florida man pulls knife in road-rage incident, victim pulls gun

Rafael Vincent Rivera – Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

Richard Tribou

Orlando Sentinel

A Central Florida man who pulled a knife during a road-rage incident was arrested and was “lucky he was not shot” when the victim pulled a gun, said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.

The sheriff’s department released video of the Tuesday incident (Warning: Video contains expletives), deputies said. It shows the suspect, Rafael Vincent Rivera, 50, of Palm Coast, wielding a knife while arguing with another man.

Deputies said Rivera was driving a Toyota Tacoma when the victim, who was riding a motorcycle, said the truck cut in front of him. The two vehicles came to a stop and Rivera exited his vehicle with a knife in his hand.

The county received six 911 calls about the incident that occurrent at the intersection of Pine Lakes Parkway and Whirlaway Drive just after 1 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

The video, which was recorded by the passenger of the motorcycle, shows Rivera swiping the knife toward the victim at one point, after which the victim pulled out a handgun, but did not use it.

Both men were detained after sheriff’s deputies arrived, but the victim was released and Rivera arrested after viewing the video and interviewing witnesses, deputies said.

“Traffic disagreements should never result in violence in our streets,” Staly said. “In this particular incident, the video captured by the victim’s wife clearly shows that her husband’s life was threatened.”

Deputies said the victim had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and the video shows that after pulling his firearm, the victim told Rivera to back away, which Rivera did.

“I applaud the way the motorcyclist handled this situation. After his life was clearly threatened, he lawfully defended himself and then de-escalated the situation,” Staly said. “The offender is lucky he was not shot. I also remind the community to not take traffic enforcement in your own hands and control your anger. Call the sheriff’s office instead.”

Rivera was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. He’s been arrested in Flagler County four previous times since 2015, the sheriff’s office said.

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