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Sheriff's deputies seek two suspects in M-15 road rage incident



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Video surveillance from C&J Oil Change caught this truck driver ramming a Jeep Cherokee. (click for larger version)
August 10, 2011 - Ortonville- Police are investigating a case of road rage that was caught on tape Tuesday.

A video surveillance camera at C&J Oil Change, 150 S. Ortonville Road, captured the incident that occurred around 4 p.m., Aug. 9. The video shows a two-tone pick-up truck, mustard yellow in color and possibly an '80s model, northbound on M-15, passing the oil change center. A dark-colored Jeep Cherokee then pulls into the C&J entrance and stops. The pick-up truck suddenly reappears, quickly pulling up next to the Cherokee and the truck driver can be seen throwing the vehicle into park.

For the next several seconds, the video does not show what is occurring, but C&J employee Jake Bono, who witnessed the incident, filled in the details.

"The pick-up driver jumped out," he said. "He reached in the passenger window of the Cherokee and was yelling he was going to beat that guy's butt, just not in those exact words. The guy in the Jeep was laughing and the truck driver said, 'Keep laughing, keep laughing,' and then threw his lit cigarette in the Cherokee, and got back in his truck."

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The camera caught the rest of the story— the pick-up truck driver reverses his vehicle to get behind the Cherokee, then drives forward and hits the rearend, breaking the lights and denting the bumper. The truck then quickly returns to M-15 and continues northbound. The Cherokee driver also leaves, heading southbound.

C&J Oil Change Manager Gary Hintz said because of the location of the business next to M-15, he has seen a lot of things happen, including a man and woman who got out of a car to fight, and drivers passing at speeds reaching 80 mph, but never anything like this.

Oakland County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Pete Burkett, Brandon substation commander, said police frequently receive calls of cars chasing each other in road rage incidents usually begun by tailgating or a driver pulling out in front of another.

"It's so silly, unthinkable, but you can't rationalize irrational behavior," he said.

Burkett said the drivers in this case, in which license plate numbers were obtained, may face possible reckless driving or malicious destruction of property charges.

"It would be prudent for both drivers to come to the substation and turn themselves in so we may resolve this issue," he said.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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