PORT ST. LUCIE — A 39-year-old man faces several charges following a Thursday morning rear-end crash that one police officer indicated he thought involved road rage, an arrest affidavit released Friday states.
Brian Morales, of the 700 block of Southwest Bond Road in Port St. Lucie, was arrested on charges including two counts of aggravated assault and single counts each of criminal mischief over $1,000, false report about a crash and reckless driving following the 8:30 a.m. incidents.
An officer indicated the victim was "terrified" and didn't want the officer to leave her side. With her 4-year-old daughter also present, the victim said she noticed Morales closely following her as she drove past Oak Hammock K-8 school.
She said at one point he passed her on a solid double yellow line and got out of his vehicle, screaming and yelling. She kept trying to activate the panic alarm on her key chain, but the alarm wasn't working. She began honking the horn to get someone's attention.
No bystanders were in the area, and she drove around Morales's vehicle, continuing north on Southwest California Boulevard. At Crosstown Parkway, she reportedly saw Morales again behind her. Morales eventually passed her on the right side and, according to her, he "suddenly and without cause slammed on his brakes causing her to rear end him."
Morales at first said the victim rear ended him because she followed too closely. He also initially denied leaving his vehicle and denied being involved in a road rage incident. Morales said he isn't familiar with the area and is "unsure of the roadways."
Meanwhile, crossing guards at Crosstown Parkway and California Boulevard said Morales sped up and swerved around the victim to the right. They said he " 'brake checked her,' causing her to crash into the back of him."
Morales ultimately said he didn't tell the truth earlier because he didn't trust Port St. Lucie police and also thought because the victim was a woman, police would "automatically take her side and arrest him."
He eventually gave a version of events that largely matched that provided by the victim, though differed in some areas. He said while they passed Oak Hammock K-8 school he was behind her, and said the victim "kept hitting her brakes hard." He said he got out of his car and approached her, saying, "What is your problem? What did I do?"
Morales said she was "giving him the finger" and beeping her horn.
Morales said earlier he wasn't familiar with the roadways, but he later indicated he'd lived in his current home for six years and in Port St. Lucie for 11 years.
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