By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — The Washington State Patrol believes a minor fender bender escalated into a violent case of road rage.
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 a woman whose van bumped into the back of his Kia sedan, causing no obvious damage.
“The door was being used as a weapon,” trooper Keith Leary said. “It’s like getting hit with a steel bat.”
The man confronted an Arlington woman, 36, late Sunday afternoon off the northbound I-5 exit at Highway 530.
The woman was driving her 8-year-old daughter home from a cheerleading competition when her car rolled into the back of his car, Leary said.
“Her intent was to get out of the vehicle and do the right thing, to make a report or exchange information, and then he attacks her,” Leary said.
The woman told troopers that she apologized to the man but he remained angry. Witnesses told troopers that the man started kicking the van’s fender and then kicked the door into her face and legs when she tried to get out of the vehicle, Leary said.
“He slammed the door of the van and it hit her face, drawing blood,” Leary said. “Instead of letting it go, he slams it back a second time into her face. All the while the 8-year-old is watching.
“It’s pretty much road rage,” he said.
The child became scared and cried, Leary said.
The man stopped when three men who witnessed the incident began to approach the scene, Leary said.
The woman was taken to Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington where she was treated for a gash beneath her eye, which was partially swollen shut.
Damage to the man’s vehicle was hard to locate, Leary said.
The trooper investigating the accident had to get down on his hands and knees to look for it, Leary said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.