A New Jersey man has been charged with harassment after a Facebook video showing him angrily railing at another driver in an apparent road rage incident went viral.
Tori Barden of Brick says she was driving to work last Wednesday when she pulled up at a tightly-angled intersection in Howell, at Herbertsville and Squankum-Allenwood roads. She stopped at the stop sign and waited for cars to pass.
A red Volkswagen pulled up, nearly hitting her, she told Patch.com. Barden said she continued on her way, but the other driver kept trying to pass her for the next mile or so, yelling at her the whole time. Herberstville Road is a single lane in each direction.
When Barden reached a red light at Lakewood-Farmingdale roads, the other driver began pushing her car with his, she told Patch.com.
She took her cellphone camera out and zoomed to get a picture of his license plate, and that's when the other driver got out and appeared at her car door, screaming and cursing. He ranted so angrily that spit could be seen flying from his mouth in the video.
"You tried to run into me!" he claimed, screaming that she cut him off at a yield sign, despite her insistence that it was a stop sign. The man screams that he's unable to turn his head to the right because of a disability from his time as a Marine. When Barden suggests he then shouldn't be driving, he screams he's allowed to drive and curses, "Get the f--- out of here!" before storming off.
After Barden posted video of the incident to her Facebook and spoke to Patch.com, at least one other person came forward to report being harassed by the same driver.
Careyanne Womach of Brick said she had a similar experience with the man, and took a photo of the same car with the same license plate in 2016. She said the man got angry when she honked at him for cutting her off on Route 524. He came out of his car and began banging on her window.
Barden told News 4 in a Facebook message that she went to the police station a few days later to file a report. Her encounter with the man was apparently the third time he'd raged at another driver.
"I had no interest in getting him in trouble but after finding out that this is the third time I thought maybe I should be the one who makes sure he gets help," Barden said. "Because maybe I was the one there at the right time for the right reasons, not the wrong reason."
Howell Police Detective Sgt. Christian Antunez confirmed the man, 55-year-old Sean O'Connor of Bricktown, was served a summons charging him with harassment. Though he could technically be sentenced up to a year in prison if convicted, it's unlikely -- the charge is essentially a disorderly person offense, and it's more likely he could be fined, or sentenced to community service or anger management courses, according to Antunez.
Attorney information for O'Connor was not immediately available. NJ.com reports O'Connor did not return calls for comment.