A 20-year-old Houston woman is recovering after being shot in the head while driving. An off-duty police officer has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the road rage incident.
We’ve all experienced rage while driving. All it takes is one bad driver to set things off, and it’s all too easy to pound on the horn or fire off an angry gesture. For most of us, road rage ends after a few muttered obscenities and a dirty look or two.
For a Houston woman, honking at a man who cut her off ended with a gunshot wound to the head. After being cut off, she reportedly honked and cut off the driver in retaliation. It wasn’t the smartest move, but it’s an understandable one. Who hasn’t honked or obnoxiously slowed down to get back at an aggressive driver? In this case, things got wildly out of hand when Precinct 6 Deputy Constable Kenneth Caplan allegedly aimed his gun out the passenger side window and shot the woman in the head.
Stunned by the graze, she managed to pull over and call 911. The woman, who doesn’t want to be named out of fear of retribution, says Caplan had a female passenger who moved out of the way to make room for him to shoot her. Unbelievable.
Road rage isn’t uncommon. Over a seven-year period, 218 murders and over 12,000 injuries were attributed to road rage. While this particular incident terrifies me, it doesn’t shock me.
Earlier this year, I gestured angrily at a man who was repeatedly honking at me in the school parking lot as I helped my son with special needs out of the car and onto his bus. When I tried to leave the parking lot, he drove the wrong way and trapped my car there. He jumped out of his vehicle, leaving his kindergartener in the front seat to watch, and began banging on my hood and window and screaming at me. My preschooler sat in the back seat, wide-eyed and terrified, as I dialed 911.
That was the last time I “retaliated” toward another driver. No amount of satisfaction over firing off a harmless rude gesture is worth the potential danger an unhinged driver poses. Fortunately the Houston woman has recovered from her injuries, but it’s a scary reminder that armed and dangerous drivers are out there.
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