PALM COAST – A 69-year-old man was arrested Thursday after he attacked a motorcyclist near the intersection of Pony Express Drive and Ponce De Leon Drive in Palm Coast, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies arrested William Markert following the brawl on a charge of simple battery.
Investigators said they were called about the fight just before 11 a.m. and were told that a man on an orange sport’s bike had just driven from the scene.
A deputy spotted the bike near the intersection of Belle Terre Parkway and Ponce Deleon Drive and stopped the rider, records show. The deputy said he could see redness and bruising on the motorcyclist’s face as soon as the man removed his helmet.
The man said that the fight started when he was riding along Ponce De Leon Drive and accelerated past a pickup truck driving in the opposite direction, according to the arrest report.
The man told the deputy the driver of the pickup, Markert, stuck his arms out the window and waved for the motorcyclist to slow down. The man said he pulled behind the truck and Markert jumped out without putting the pickup in park, according to the report.
Around this time, a witness started recording the scene on their cell phone. The video shows Markert chasing after his truck as it rolls down the road, Markert is eventually able to get the truck under control, then immediately gets back out and start heading toward the motorcyclist.
The rider said Markert shoved him at least three times before he decided to fight back, according to the arrest report. The video appears to back up that claim. It also shows the two men scuffling in the grass near the road, but then cuts out.
When deputies tracked down Markert, records show he claimed he was acting in self-defense. Investigators said the video shows him to be the aggressor and he was arrested.
“Incidents like this are easily avoidable by not losing your temper,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in a news release. “Taking action yourself does not stop drivers from driving badly but often escalates the situation. Road rage often leads to is crashes, battery, aggravated assaults, and arrests. I’m glad this situation didn’t escalate to anything worse. If you see someone doing something illegal on the road or driving in an unsafe matter, don’t take it upon yourself to correct the situation, call us and we will take care of it. Don’t engage in road rage!”