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.