Police: Driver who pulled gun claims self defense

Tips lead to 'possible suspect' in Lancaster road rage incident

LANCASTER, TX (WFAA) - Police in Texas said the driver wanted in connection with in an apparent road rage incident on Friday turned himself in and claimed self defense.

Lancaster PD said the driver turned himself in at 2 pm Monday and told investigators he believed the cell phone in another driver's hand was a weapon.

"Charges are pending further review of all sides of the story and all evidence," a statement reads.

Detective James Brickett says the Dallas County District Attorney's Office has also been contacted and the investigation is on-going.

Lancaster police said they received several tips after News 8 aired the initial story that led to the identification of the driver. Investigators released video and images of the driver from cellphone video captured by Victoria Best.

Best told WFAA on Sunday that she was on her way to work in Dallas Friday afternoon when she noticed the car in front of her braking repeatedly.

"It was like he was trying to cause a rear-end accident," Best said. "That was what made me pick up my phone and start recording."

She said she didn't look at the driver as she passed him.

It wasn't until she arrived at work and called Lancaster police to report the driver that she noticed something more.

"The officer asked me if I could make out a license plate," Best said. "I got to looking through the video and pausing and pausing – I get to a point where I pause and I look and he’s just pointing a gun at me."

“At first it was shock and then I just started crying," Best said.

And then she got online.

Since she posted her video and photos on Saturday, more than 1.6 million Facebook users have seen it. 

"I'm happy that people shared the picture and I hope somebody knows who he is," Best said.

Detective Maeland James with Lancaster police says the incident took place at approximately 3 p.m. Friday in the northbound lanes of I-35E, just south of Interstate 20.

He confirmed the suspect was driving a silver 2016 Nissan Versa.

"Right now it appears this is an isolated incident," James said.

James said he's hoping at least one person can ID the driver.

“We’re waiting for phone calls to see if this guy made contact with anyone else or pointed his gun at anybody else going up I-35," James said.

It is the most recent example of the renewed attention and scrutiny on dangerous and aggressive driving in North Texas.

Arlington PD restarted its road rage hotline after the fatal shooting of a 19-year old motorist in June. That case remains unsolved.

The department also launched its first ever "aggressive driving task force."

“We believe that there has been an increase in the frequency and severity of road rage type incidents on our area freeways," Lt. Jeff Pugh said in late July.

APD told WFAA on Sunday that the task force has produced eight arrests for aggressive driving in the six weeks since it began.

Best says she supports stepped up enforcement of aggressive driving anywhere in North Texas.

"Road rage is real," she said. "It was just the look on his face that scared me the most. Somebody like that needs to be off the street."

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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