Tiffany Shadbolt also said she's thankful to the three young men who came to her aid.
"It's my first black eye," she said. "I didn't realize the purple is going to start to spread."
State troopers arrested an Arlington man, 56, on Sunday and booked him into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of second-degree assault. He's accused of twice slamming a car door into Shadbolt, whose van bumped into the back of his Kia sedan, causing no obvious damage.
Washington State Patrol trooper Keith Leary described the incident as a case of road rage in which a car door was used as a weapon.
The man confronted Shadbolt late Sunday afternoon at the northbound I-5 exit at Highway 530, Leary said.
Shadbolt was driving her daughter, Aurora Hilburn, 8, home from a cheerleading competition in Tacoma when her van slowly rolled forward into the back of the man's Kia, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Shadbolt said she was distracted at that moment, but was not using her cellphone.
She said she tried to apologize to the man, but he was yelling at her and she quickly grew frightened.
Witnesses said the man slammed her van door on her face and legs twice. Shadbolt said she was too afraid to turn her back on the man to reach for her cellphone to call 911.
The attack stopped when three young men who witnessed the incident began to approach the scene, she said.
"He was still yelling at me," Shadbolt said. "He didn't stop until those boys started walking up. I want them to know I'm very thankful that they stopped."
She also appreciated the medics for removing her daughter's car seat from the van and securing it in the back of the ambulance. Aurora was scared and cried during the confrontation, and didn't want to leave her mother's side afterward.
"She just held my hand the whole way during the ambulance ride," Shadbolt said.
The cut to the corner of her eye remains tender and aches when she squints.
"It hurts to smile and laugh," she said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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