New Jersey

NJ Road Rage Victim Recalls Incident Ending in Gunfire: ‘Scares the Hell Out of Me'

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A New Jersey driver said that he narrowly escaped a violent road rage confrontation with another man who brake-checked him several times before opening fire at him while at a stoplight.

In an exclusive interview with NBC New York, Chester Szarkowski recalled his journey home Saturday night on Route 70 in Brick Township, which left a bullet hole in his car — and fear in his mind.

Szarkowski said that he had just switched lanes when the incident began.

"As I start to do that, the freaking pickup comes in and literally like cuts in front of me, like that," he said.

On a 911 call after the incident, Szarkowski can be heard detailing the harassment from the other driver.

"The guy started cutting in front of me. I mean, literally, I would go all the way over to the left and he would swing all the way over he'd do everything," he told the dispatcher.

Soon, the driver in the pickup came up along side Szarkowski at a red light.

"Comes back into the lane next to me, comes flying up — I would say he wasn't going full speed, but he wasn't slowing down," he told News 4. "And all I hear is bang, bang, bang."

Unclear whether it was done to scare Szarkowski, or worse, one shot hit his car just in front of the passenger door.

"I cringed down in my seat, I did, I was like down like this, (thinking) 'what's coming next?'" he said.

"And as I'm sitting there, they drive through the red light and guy shoots three times! Then they blew through the next red light," he said during a 911 call.

Brick police are now looking for the driver of the red pickup, which was on the roadway around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The description Szarkowski provided, saying he believed it was a newer Ford F-150 was enough for police to start searching surveillance videos from the area. He said there were two men in the truck.

Szarkowski said he isn't sure what he did to trigger the shooting, but seemingly for the first time since it happened, realized while speaking to NBC New York just how close he came to something much worse.

"As much as I'm like not worried about it, I am worried it. Because you think about it and it scares you," he said. "And then I think about everybody here and it freaks me out, it does. But I haven't told this to anybody, I'm the tough one. I'm not the tough one, I'm just the tough one trying to keep everybody safe in their home."

While he was not injured, Szarkowski said he easily could have been.

"It was a very dangerous situation before the shots even happened," he told the 911 dispatcher.

"It scares the hell out of me because I'm not ready to go anywhere," he told News 4.

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