HIALEAH, FL – A man caught on cellphone video fighting with another driver in the middle of a busy Hialeah roadway, Friday evening, is facing a serious charge for the road rage incident, but he said there’s more to the story than the footage suggests.
Meanwhile, the other man involved in the skirmish said he merely acted out of fear for his life.
According to Hialeah Police, the incident took place along the 1200 block of 49th Street, at around 6 p.m.
The cellphone video shows 24-year-old Hector Herrera striking 50-year-old Jairo Linarte with a baseball bat. Both men are then seen grappling for the bat, and then Linarte is seen grabbing it from Herrera’s hands.
The men continued to exchange blows as they moved across traffic lanes, causing motorists to swerve in order to avoid hitting them.
In the end, Herrera would be charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
The 24-year-old, however, said the charge does not reflect what happened. “I just want to say that I am not an aggressive person,” he said. “My intention was not to hit him with the bat or nothing like that.”
Linarte said Herrera got in front of him in traffic well before the camera started recording. “He tried to cut in front of me, then [got] pissed off and got the bat and started to hit my truck, and that’s what happened,” he said. “First, he started — he hit my window.”
Words were then exchanged between both men. Linarte said he got back in his truck and tried to get away but ended up hitting Herrera’s white car.
It was at that point, Herrera said, the situation spiraled out of control. “That was when I freaked out,” he said. “My instinct was to grab the bat and go over.”
Police said Herrera hit Linarte in the shoulder. “As everybody can see, the situation escalated quick,” said Herrera.
The video shows the altercation in full swing, as both men battled for the bat in the middle of the street. “It wasn’t a big fight, but it was a fight,” said Herrera.
A police officer eventually broke up the brawl.
Authorities indicated Herrera is the one to blame, something he said is unjust. “They throw all the charge on me,” he said.
Herrera said he is now afraid he will lose his job. Meanwhile, he said, his car is a mess. “I’ve got damage in my door,” he said as he showed 7News his vehicle.
He is facing a serious felony charge. “It’s really bad right now for everybody,” he said.
As for Linarte, he said he simply fought back when he saw Herrera brandishing a bat. “I was scared for my life, so that’s what I tried to do,” he said.
Linarte said he is heading to the doctor’s office on Monday to have his shoulder injury examined.
Herrera is expected to appear in court sometime Monday to face a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.