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Man punches woman's face after 'cat and mouse' road rage, police say

Police: Suspect blocked victim from driving away, grabbed her cellphone

Stephen Brewster.

PALM BAY, Fla. – A Palm Bay man is accused of punching a woman in the face during an episode of road rage he described as a "cat and mouse" game, according to police.

A Palm Bay police officer saw a gray, four-door vehicle, driven by Stephen Brewster, 60, following the victim in a white van onto Americana Boulevard, according to the report. The officer lost the vehicles for a moment, but when they spotted the cars again the gray car was park diagonally in front of the van, preventing it from turning.

Moments later, the officer saw the gray car flee the scene and a woman ran up to the patrol car in "a state of panic," according to the report.

"He hit me," she told the officer. "He punched me in my face. Please help."

The victim told the officer she was driving on Culver Avenue when the driver of a gray vehicle signaled he wanted to get in front of her. She told police she flashed her lights to signal to the driver it was safe to cut in front of her. However, after allowing him into her lane the victim said she passed him because he was driving lower than the speed limit, according to the victim's statement.

The victim said Brewster began to shine his brights in her rear window and tailgate her so closely she couldn't see the front of his car, according to the report.

The victim said she tried several times to get away from the vehicle until she came to a stop sign at Arcadia Avenue and Americana Boulevard. The gray vehicle drove around her blocking her from driving away, according to the report. Brewster got out of his car and began yelling at the victim, according to the report. The victim said she attempted to record him on her cellphone. She said Brewster prevented her from rolling her window up and reached in to grab her phone. After a struggle, the victim let go of her phone and Brewster punched her in the side of the face, the report said. Police said Brewster threw he phone into a nearby yard before driving away.

Police said the victim was able to get the vehicle's plate number and police found Brewster at his home address.

When police spoke to Brewster, he admitted to being in a "cat and mouse" game with the victim and confronting her at the stop sign, according to the report.

Brewster is charged with misdemeanor battery and felony robbery by sudden snatching. His bail was set at $5,500, according to jail records.