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Tempers flaring on city’s streets

Fredericksburg police are investigating two more road-rage incidents reported over the the holiday weekend, adding to a string of recent incidents involving angry drivers.

The first occurred following the July Fourth fireworks show at Pratt Park when a 64-year-old man from Spotsylvania County was assaulted in a hit-and-run car accident, said city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe.

While stopped in heavy traffic on U.S. 1, his car was rear-ended by a blue Honda Civic in the 500 block of Jefferson Davis Highway near the CVS, Bledsoe said.

There were four people in the other car: the driver, a blonde woman in the passenger seat and two men in the back seat.

When the man approached the Honda to ask for insurance information, the driver refused to cooperate.

When the victim said he would call police, the driver punched him in the face and the woman grabbed his glasses and threw them into the roadway, police said.

The other two passengers got out of the car and went to the CVS. Police interviewed the two men, said Bledsoe. Since neither was driving or involved in the assault, they are not considered suspects.

The driver was described as a Hispanic man in his 30s. The woman in her 20s or 30s wore her blonde hair in a loose bun, a witness told investigators, Bledsoe said.

Police were able to find the blue Honda Civic in the Wellington Woods apartments parking lot. The vehicle was towed away and impounded, Bledsoe said.

No arrests have been made in the incident, and police are still looking for the man and woman who were in the Honda.

In the latest incident on Sunday, a Fredericksburg man, 50, reported another driver showing a weapon during an argument on the street, police said.

The victim reported he was driving a Jeep Wrangler on Amelia Street when another man driving a white Ford Escape went through a stop sign on Washington Avenue and nearly hit his vehicle, police said.

After the near miss, the two men got into a shouting match, Bledsoe said. During the argument, the Ford driver lifted his shirt to show a handgun in his waistband.

The victim called 911, and the suspect drove away. The man was able to give police the Ford’s license plate number, Bledsoe said. Police have identified the owner of the vehicle as a Stafford County man in his 20s.

No arrests have been made.

This case was the third road-rage-related investigation involving guns in two weeks. The others occurred on June 20 and July 1.

The string of such incidents is unusual for Fredericksburg police.

“I can’t recall a time when we’ve had more than three [road-rage-related] cases within two weeks,” Bledsoe said.

No arrests have been made in the June 20, July 4 and July 6 cases.

Kenneth Chaffin, 77, of Spotsylvania County was charged with brandishing a firearm, a misdemeanor, in the July 1 incident.

All four incidents are still under investigation.

Katie Shepherd 540/374-5417