Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Victim's Story: Road Rage on Whiskey Road

Meet Michael Ciomei.

The Aiken teenager and his younger brother were arrested on Friday for simple assault & battery. Apparently, they didn’t like a fellow motorist telling them it was wrong to throw trash out of their car windows.

The victim says that he saw Michael and his younger brother tossing things out of their car on Friday afternoon along Whiskey Road. The thing that annoyed James (the victim) was that the brothers and an unidentified girl in the car were laughing about it.

So, at the next traffic light, James pulled up and told them to stop littering or they may get in trouble.

Michael, 18 (shown above) and the younger brother allegedly reacted by jumping out of their vehicle in the middle of Whiskey Road, grabbing a tire iron and chasing the victim as he tried to drive away, James said. But the brothers caught him.

James told authorities that the brothers dragged him out of his Jeep and hit him in the face and back, breaking his nose and swelling his eye.

The 31-year-old victim, who asked only to be identified by his first name, was helped by a woman and her daughter, who witnessed a violent assault.

An ambulance arrived followed by public safety officers, who captured he Ciomei brothers and later charged them. The younger brother, 14, was charged as a juvenile because of his age.

The Ciomei family could not be reached. There is no telephone listing for them.

James defends his actions, saying he was standing up for what was right.

“I think this country was founded on people standing up for what they believe in,” he said.

Public Safety Lt. David Turno said they don’t recommend people confronting other motorists.

“We would encourage people to notify law enforcement so we could intervene. Just like this, you don’t know if people are armed,” he said.

As soon as the case investigator returns to work, James plans to try and get the charge against Michael increased to aggravated assault. Lt. Turno said that is a possibility, depending on the evidence.

In the meantime, James has an appointment with an optometrist regarding his eye injury. And as he recovers, he says has no regrets about what he said to the teens. He wishes other people would have the confidence to speak up when they see somebody doing something wrong.

“People aren’t standing up for what’s right anymore,” he said.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment section below.


  1. I think " James" forgot to mention that once he chased them down he threatened to beat their ass like their daddy never had. Sounds like he did alittle of provoking the situation also. I think both parties should share the guilt. Next time you decide to take the law into your hands, rethink and call 911

  2. I think James did the right thing. These boys didn't like a MAN telling them to stop littering. So, their solution was to attack. It is obvious that whatever James told them didn't sit well with them. Now, is it provoking violence to tell children to stop being irresponsible? If that is the case then every teacher,parent and leader in the world has failed. The old saying should still stand... "it doesn't just take a parent to raise a child, it takes a village". Follow the law and maybe James won't scold you. I saw his bruises. I saw the tire iron mark across his back. I think these children or their parents should be financially responsible for all the damage they caused for so called being "provoked".. hog wash!

  3. Were the perps from Midland Valley?

  4. maybe u shouldnt right things about me when nobody knows what happened because we didnt even get a statement for what really happened if you want to know the real story maybe southcarolina public safety would do there job of taking statement from everyone and im suppose to be the crazy one but james whaley goes to jail 2 weeks later for criminal domestic violence i have the right to stand up for myself when james kept harrasing me by backing off and getting on my tail end of my car and did this several times and when we got to the light i went to left turning lane and james went to turning lane then jumped back to the right lane and pulled beside my car and ask really rudely im not sure if i can cuss on here but im saying what james said to us he said "Yall need to quit throwing that shit out before you get your asses in trouble" and i said hold up youre not going to talk to me like that your not my dad and my dad dont even talk to me like that and plus you dont know me my dad or my brother and james replied well i jus beat your ass like your daddy should so i said ok then so then my brother said well we jus call our dad up here then and then James told my brother to get out of the car so my brother did which he shouldnt of but he did and when he did james kept looking to his right so i jus took it instant that james had something so i got out and got the tire iron and so james pulled up so i went up to his window and he hit me first im not the kind of person to hit someone with a tire iron and so i threw the tire iron down and started hitting him back so he opend his car door hard and knocked me against this ladies car and by the time i was getting up james was out of his car and he was trying to get the tire iron so i went and started hitting him again andhe fell on top of me and then i landed against the same ladies car and then he started kickin me in the face and so my brother gf come over to try and get the tire iron from james so he wouldnt hit me with it and he kicked her also and so then my brother came over and put james in a headlock so i got back up and started hitting him again and there was a cop 2 cars behind us and james had the tire iron when the cops pulled up at the scene and the two ladies that were witnesses were on our side at the scene but when the cops ask us to go to the library the two ladies there mines when they got there but James hit two minor and didnt get any charge for that and we have learned our lesson We HAVE NEVER HAD ANY RECORD FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT traffic violations before all of this incident and i go to school everyday i go to work i dont have any sign of trouble anywhere i go i am a good guy and this all makes me look bad when i know I did wrong but also James Did majorly and we get the blame i couldnt of left because of traffic but James lied bout alot of things he told cops i had a gun in my car so they search my car and never found anything i dont do drug dont smoke at all so Before news people and whoever else thinks they no something dont write till you find out the truth because it hurts people

  5. thers no way anyone seen pictures of someone getting hit with the tire iron because for one no one got hit with it and read the police report they said the injuries our from fighting not from a weapon

  6. I know Mike personally and I know he is about as likely to hit someone with a tire iron as Miss South Carolina..

  7. michael ciomei would never do that he is a very sweet guy and i kno he was really stressed and alot was going on he is a very good guy andjames whaley the guy mike faught went to jail molesting 2 8 yr old girls

  8. nobody pulled james out of car this should be off the internet expoungement was paid now take it off this is not rite to people that are good

  9. Not even a whole year later james goes to jail for molesting two eight yr old girls!