Road rage punch lands man in jail

Posted at 1:53 PM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 13:53:44-04

(WBBH, NBC NEWSCHANNEL) A former sheriff's deputy says he relied on his law enforcement training after being punched in a Florida road rage incident.

Rickey Mendes admits he didn't see a car in his blind spot while he and his family headed to a Cub Scout meeting in Fort Myers. 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.

A 9-1-1 call and several blocks later, Michael Taddeo ended up in cuffs. Mendes says he's the one who punched him.