It’s happened to many of us. Another driver tailgates, drives aggressively, cuts us off. Many people let it slide, but there are some that take it too far and engage in road rage. Over 300 cases of road rage end with serious injury or fatality annually in the United States.
One Lafayette man was on the receiving end of such a case and came within millimeters of losing his life. The victim, who wished to remain unidentified, was driving on Martial Avenue near Comeaux High School on August 15th. Sun still shining, it was around 4pm when he stopped quickly at a stop, as a man in a white truck crossed his path.
“He was actually turning onto to Martial and he honked at me as I was turning. I was turning around because I passed up a friend’s house,” the victim said.
The next few minutes became terrifying moments of disbelief, as 57- year old Charles Guidry exited his truck and made his way towards the victim’s car.
“He got out of his car and starting attacking my car. He started punching the hood of and the side of my car as I reversed away.”
Guidry allegedly followed the victim to a near-by Citgo gas station. After quickly pulling in, the victim heard a crash at his back window. At first, he thought Guidry tossed a rock or tire-iron at his car, but a witness in the area shouted, ‘he has a gun.’
The victim ran inside and met the store owner, Malek Abdalla.
“He walked in and I really didn’t comprehend what he was saying cause he was scared but I knew that he got shot at so I said, ‘where is the gun?’ He said ‘outside,'”
Abdalla ran outside to confront the shooter, only to find an empty parking lot. Police were called and an investigation began, which ultimately resulted in the arrest of Guidry for Attempted Second Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault and Criminal Damage to Property on August 17th.
In the two days that followed, the victim said, he played the incident in his head several times and shuttered at the thought of what could have happened. The bullet entered the back glass, ricocheted off the frame and landed in the backseat. If the bullet entered the glass just one millimeter lower, it could have gone through the back of his skull. However, the bullet landed in the exact spot of his son’s car seat.
“An hour earlier, my girlfriend decided to pick up my kid, who would have been shot had he been in the car. It would have been murder. That’s what’s really eating me up because I didn’t stop long enough for him.”
While he admits he may not have stopped long enough at the sign, he said his actions didn’t warrant the possible bloodshed.
“I really don’t feel like it’s his duty as a citizen to try to be Batman and jump out and shoot people.”
Abdalla agreed, “Usually normal people don’t respond this way. We get all angry especially with the heat, the traffic. We have to pick up kids, go to jobs. but that’s extreme to me to use a gun to prove a point. The guy he almost lost his life.”
Guidry remains in jail on a $50,000 bond. Abdalla told News Ten he plans to add perimeter surveillance cameras to his store, following this incident. The victim headed back to work Monday, after his friends at Samir’s Auto Sales offered to discount a back windshield. He said his company paid for a rental car which he jokingly said had bullet proof glass.