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Man arrested in Palm Beach Gardens hit-and-run told police woman wielded hammer

Incident, according to police report, stems from road-rage incident
Alternate A1A in Palm Beach Gardens, the site of a hit-and-run crash on April 5, 2022.jpg
Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 18:31:43-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — A North Palm Beach man faces a felony charge after admitting he ran over a woman in a road-rage incident, claiming she had attacked his vehicle with a hammer, according to a police report obtained by WPTV.

The incident occurred on April 5 at Promenade Plaza and left Marcia Elaine Francis, 32, with a severed foot, a brain bleed, broken right shoulder, rib fractures, spine fractures and a broken jaw.

Charles J. Vaughan is charged with vehicular hit-and-run with serious injury.

Vaughan, 57, initially denied to police having any altercation with Francis when police pulled him over near the scene on April 5. However, he went to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department on Tuesday and gave an account of what happened.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Vaughan said he was traveling southbound on Alternate A1A when a vehicle driven by Francis started honking at him from behind.

MORE: Palm Beach Gardens police investigate hit-and-run crash

Vaughan said he tried to wave Francis around him, but she instead started to stop short in front of his car and then followed him into Promenade Plaza. There, Vaughn told police, she pinned his car up against the curb.

Francis then exited her vehicle with a hammer and started striking Vaughan's vehicle "from back to the driver side window."

Vaughan said he put his vehicle in drive to flee the area when Francis jumped in front of his car. He told police he thought that he drove into the woman, severing her foot.

He told police that he went home, took his heart medication and then went to Home Depot.

Vaughan told police he was trying to get away from the hammer-wielding woman in his vehicle and never meant to hit her.

A call to Francis' home was answered by a woman who claimed it was the wrong number and hung up.

Vaughan faces a second-degree felony that carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Palm Beach Gardens said it plans on releasing a statement Wednesday afternoon.