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Woman punched in the face during road rage incident in Indianapolis

Posted at 6:08 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 22:34:52-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis woman is warning other drivers after she says she was punched by another driver during a road rage incident at a stop light.

Maria Vasquez says she was on her way home from work Monday night around 7 p.m. and was sitting at the light near Southeastern Avenue and Emerson Avenue when she suddenly saw a white pick-up truck swerve in front of her.

“He just about hit me in the front of my car,” Vasquez said. “So, I thought maybe this guy or whoever it was in the car, they aren’t realizing they are going to hit me. So, I honk at them.”

After she honked, Vasquez said the other driver got out of his truck and walked toward her vehicle. She rolled down her window to see what he wanted, and he started swearing at her and asking why she honked at him.

“I said, I did it because you almost hit me. So, he got his fist and hit me right in the chin,” Vasquez said. “I’m sorry. I thought he was in trouble. I will never do that again.”

Vasquez says the man then quickly got back into his truck and drove away. She tried to follow him, but couldn’t catch up.

“I said, ‘what am I going to do? I better not follow him, it may get worse,’” Vasquez said.

“She came home, she was terrified,” Melissa Smylie, Vasquez’ daughter-in-law said. “She was scared and crying. This shouldn’t happen to anybody. It doesn’t matter.”

Vasquez hopes her story will serve as a warning to other drivers.

“He could do it to a young girl, a young boy,” Vasquez said. “He could’ve just cussed me out, not hit me.”

She also hopes someone who witnessed the incident Monday evening might come forward and help police find the person who punched her.

If you are ever in a situation with an aggressive driver AAA recommends that you stay inside your vehicle and keep your door and windows locked. They also say you should honk your horn to get the attention of other drivers, stay as calm as possible and call 911 as soon as you can.

INDOT says aggressive drivers who aren’t thinking clearly behind the wheel often cause crashes. The department advises you to avoid contact, ignore gestures and make every attempt to get out of the way if you encounter an aggressive driver on the road.