Road Rage Incident Results in Roadside Confrontation; Suspect Arrested

A disturbance over alleged road rage led to the arrest of Michael Cittadino (12/9/80) on Monday afternoon near the El Jobean Bridge in Englewood. Michael Cittadino was arrested on charges of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Criminal Mischief, and Resisting an Officer Without Violence.

At approximately 4:40pm, two detectives with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office were driving toward Englewood approaching the El Jobean Bridge. Traffic in the area was proceeding slowly due to the damage the bridge sustained during Saturday evening’s crash at that location. While in the stalled traffic, the detectives observed four males outside their vehicles engaging in a confrontation that appeared to be close to becoming physical.

The detectives, driving an unmarked vehicle, activated the emergency lights and parked behind one of the vehicles that were unoccupied. As the detectives exited their vehicle, three of the men pointed at Cittadino and began to shout “He’s got a knife, He’s got a machete!” The detectives did not observe a weapon but did observe Cittadino to be moving in an aggressive manner and clenching his fists.

Michael Cittadino was given several commands to to stop moving and display his hands, which he ignored, reaching in his pockets several times. The detectives grabbed Cittadino’s wrist, at which time he unsuccessfully attempted to pull away.

The victim advised that Cittadino pulled beside him and partially blocked the lane he was traveling in after the victim merged in front of him to avoid the barriers for the damaged bridge. The victim advised that Cittadino approached his vehicle with a machete, swinging it and striking the windshield causing visible damage. The victim exited his vehicle to draw Cittadino away from it due to the vehicle also being occupied by his girlfriend and child. At this time, two of the victims co-workers who were also in traffic exited their vehicle to assist the victim. During the confrontation, it was reported that the machete was thrown by Cittadino back into his vehicle.

All of the subjects involved provided statements, including Michael Cittadino. Cittadino was transported to a local hospital for reported back pain, and then to the Charlotte County Jail once he was cleared. Cittadino’s vehicle was towed to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office impound yard to await a pending search warrant for the machete.

Update 4/16/19 – The machete was located in his truck after a search today. The one pictured at the top was identified by the victim.

Driving can be stressful, but feeling angry when behind the wheel could lead to aggressive driving, distracted driving or even an accident. See the tips below to avoid confrontation on the road.

Tips To Avoid A Road Rage Incident

What To Remember When Driving

  • Give other drivers a break. If someone is driving slowly, keep in mind they might be lost.
  • Use hand gestures wisely. Keep gestures positive—say, waving to a driver who lets you in when merging.
  • Don’t tailgate. Always keep a safe distance from the car in front, no matter how slowly they might be driving.
  • Lay off the horn. Honking out of frustration won’t solve any problems; it will just increase the stress level for everyone on the road.
  • Don’t stop to confront another driver. Stopping could lead to a dangerous situation for everyone.

If Another Driver Acts Aggressively

  • Stay away. Safely change lanes, gradually slow down or even exit the highway to keep a safe distance from the aggressive driver.
  • Don’t reciprocate. Ignore the temptation to respond to the other driver; it could cause the situation to escalate. Don’t make eye contact.
  • Don’t stop. Stopping could lead to a person-to-person confrontation, which could be dangerous.

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