YOUNGSVILLE — One driver's trip home to Youngsville turned very violent after he ran smack into road rage and came away bloodied and battered.
Customers at the car dealership where he works could not help but notice the big shiner on Joe Rodrigues after Friday's incident. His injuries are a sign of the times, and a warning.
Rodrigues says he was roughed up by road rage, specifically a driver who thought Rodrigues had cut him off. The driver followed Rodrigues for four miles until he stopped and rolled down the window.
"Right after I said, 'At least we didn't get into an accident,' he struck me -- out of the blue," Rodrigues says. "I had sunglasses on. It broke my glasses, and it cut me really bad above my eye, on my nose and under my eye."
Rodrigues needed 22 stitches to patch up his brush with road rage. He admits he made some mistakes.
With the enraged driver behind him, he drove to his own subdivision, and he stopped and rolled the window down. The stateHighway Patrolsays stay away from someone who shows signs of road rage.
"Don't go home," says Trooper Beckley Vaughan. "Go to a police department, go to the Highway Patrol office, stop at a convenience store if there's enough people in the parking lot. You don't want to go somewhere where there's nobody else around. If you need to go inside and call 911, do that. If you've got a car phone, certainly utilize that car phone to call 911 or the Highway Patrol."
Youngsville Police issued an assault warrant on the driver who allegedly hit Rodrigues.
The suspect, Terry Journigan, Jr., surrendered to Youngsville police Wednesday. After seeing WRAL's report on Tuesday, Franklin County district attorney David Waters called for the case to be investigated further.
Right now, Journigan faces an assault charge.