(WBBH) – A retired cop attacked in a fit of road rage on US-41 relied on his experience as a deputy to tail the driver until he was arrested.
Rickey Mendes admits he didn’t see a car in his blind spot while he and his family headed to a Cub Scout meeting. He rolled his window down halfway to apologize to the other driver.
“He rolled down his window halfway. I rolled down my window,” Mendes explained. “I immediately said, ‘Sorry, that was an accident. My fault. I didn’t see you.’”
But sorry wasn’t enough.
“The passenger of the vehicle jumped out,” said Mendes, “walked up to the car and just cold cocked me right in the nose. Blood was bleeding everywhere. The light’s still red. I’m just like what just happened?” The suspect took off after hitting Mendes in the face and the former sheriff’s deputy followed.
“They made turns all over the place,” he described. “So while maintain a safe distance through my law enforcement background, I knew justice had to be done.” He placed a call to 911 and several blocks later Michael Taddeo ended up in cuffs. Taddeo is the guy Mendes said punched him.
But Mendes is glad he knew what to do when the extreme case of road rage happened.
“It’s a one in a million chance that this happens,” Mendes said. “It just happened to happen to the right person and the wrong day for him.”
What should you do if you ever caught in a similar scenario? Mendes? said call 911, take mental notes of the car and suspect and stay a safe distance away while you wait for law enforcement.