Thursday, September 04, 2014

Never Get Outa The Boat

A recent incident described as road rage illustrates this point.

The Detroit Free Press: Attorney: Howell road rage gunman drove recklessly before deadly attack

A 69-year-old Howell man had been driving recklessly moments before a deadly confrontation at a traffic light east of Howell during which he shot to death another motorist, according to the attorney representing the victim’s family.

Derek Flemming, 43, and his wife, Amy, had lunch in Howell and were on their way to pick up their two children from the first day of school Tuesday afternoon when their 2014 Ford Escape was cut off by a speeding pickup, attorney William Moore said.

According to police, witnesses told investigators that Flemming got out of his SUV at a stoplight on Grand River at Chilson Road and approached the 2012 Dodge pickup, asking: “What’s your problem?”

The other driver then rolled down his window and shot him, Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte said Wednesday.

While the story as reported, as in many other instances may not quite relate all the facts, nor report them accurately, let's assume it is correct for now.

Assuming they're right the pickup driver just committed murder.

However, you get, as the Freep reports in the article - almost sideswiped by a pickup truck, tailgated by it, and then the same truck then passes ahead and slams on the brakes ahead of the SUV the victim was driving so there's almost an accident.

You then as the innocent SUV driver get out and confront this guy? Not a good idea.

Assuming the SUV driver is blameless in the incident and didn't contribute to it, what did he think he would do to improve the situation by getting out of his SUV and confronting a pickup driver that has already aptly demonstrated to be totally out of control and a clear danger?

Stay in your vehicle, call the police and evade if at all possible, confronting an idiot isn't going to help anything.

You should only get out of your vehicle if your vehicle is not mobile and you're trapped in the location and the attacker is coming towards you. In such a situation getting free of the confines of the vehicle makes sense -the cops don't call the front seat of the patrol car a coffin for nothing. Otherwise, never get outa the boat.


Dan said... - many updates on it.

From what I've heard, the story is likely to be accurate.

Vailliencourt's throwing the book at him and charging him with murder (and other charges). From what it sounds, when both parties got to the intersection at Chilson, Fleming got out of his vehicle (dumb, but not a crime) and chirped at him. Supposedly, there was no physical contact, and Fleming was unarmed. Zale allegedly then took the time to roll down his window and shot him in the face. He then pulled off to the side of the road and waited for the police. He didn't make any statement and asked for his attorney (only smart move he made)

Unfortunately, the guy has a CPL. He also didn't pay attention in the law part of the class. I have some pro-defense leanings, but I think the prosecutors here may very well even have a 2nd degree case.

Aaron said...


Thanks for the info. I'd agree it looks that Zale committed murder in this incident. That he has a CPL is not good and I'd hope they look into what training he received before getting it.

I'd agree that what Fleming did was completely legal, but in the circumstances, as I said in the post, an incredibly bad idea that only worsened an already dangerous situation and resulted in him being killed by an idiot for no good reason whatsoever.

Kristophr said...

I dealt with a roadrage incident myself in Vancouver WA once.

An angry idiot was following me and my Suburban while driving a minivan, and waving a baseball bat ... while driving.

I pulled a cellphone out, dialed 911, explained situation, and told the dispatcher I was going to drive to the parking lot of the police station on Millplain.

Idiot actually followed me into the lot. Police converged on his van from freaking everywhere ...