Road rage turns into battle between Austin drivers

Two men with weapons battle it out in the middle of South Austin traffic. Cell phone video captures the violent road rage fight that has quickly gone viral.

Austin Police are aware of the incident that happened this afternoon on I-35 and Slaughter Lane. They are hoping people will think twice before acting aggressive.

It looks like a scene out of a movie.

"That's epic; that's newsworthy," says Matt Ferguson, Austin native.

A confrontation quickly escalates on I35 and Slaughter Lane on Monday afternoon. You see a man strike the door of a truck with a baseball bat. That driver immediately jumps out as if he were ready to fight but quickly goes back into the truck to put it in park. Then he walks toward the man, later reaching into the truck-bed to pull out a wooden rod.

From there, the battle begins with both men wielding their weapons. They hit each other back and forth for about 15 seconds.

"I mean, I've lived here my whole life and I've never seen anything like that before. It really is shocking. I don't know what I would do if I saw something like that," says Ferguson.

The incident was reported to the Austin Police Department. Interesting enough, they don't track road rage because it's not a criminal offense. Instead, depending on the situation, they would see if it falls under another category, such as assault.

"Yelling at someone is one thing but when someone produces a weapon, it definitely makes the situation a lot worse. Most times when a weapon is used, it's a felony. If a weapon is displayed, it may be a higher misdemeanor charge and that's definitely something we want to shy away from, showing any kind of weapon. Show that you're a bigger person. If you get mad, just cool down," says Officer William Costello, Austin Police Department.

Officer Ferguson says there are ways to keep a situation from getting out of hand. They want to warn drivers to stay calm.

"Don't look at them, don't make eye contact with them, don't do anything that's going to further provoke them - that includes don't use your horn. You only want to use your horn during emergency situations. Don't do any hand gestures or start yelling, just keep focused on the road," says Officer Costello.

You're urged to call 9-1-1 and put your hazards on if the person continues to follow you. The most important thing is to get to a safe place.

According to TxDOT, there has been an increase over the last three years in crashes involving road rage.

  • In 2012, it was a contributing factor in 960 statewide crashes.
  • In 2013, road rage was a factor in just over 1,000 crashes statewide.
  • In 2014, that number grew to just over 1,100.

APD says the one thing not to do during a road rage incident is go home. You don't want anyone knowing where you live.


A confrontation between two male drivers began around 12:30 p.m. on Monday near I35 and Slaughter Ln.

Twitter user @NoelDeric did not see what started the altercation but began recording when he saw a man with a baseball bat approaching another vehicle.

As one man with a baseball bat approached a dark colored pickup-truck the truck's driver can be seen abruptly exiting his vehicle.  After exiting, the driver realizes that he forgot to put the truck in park and he quickly re-entered the truck to put his vehicle in park.

After putting the truck in park the driver re-confronts the man with the bat and the two exchange words.  The driver of the truck reaches into the back of the truck and takes out what appears to be a type of long wooden pole. 

What follows is a fight between the two men wielding their weapons. 

According to Twitter user @NoelDeric both men got back into their vehicles and drove away after the confrontation and no police arrived on the scene.  

Austin Police say that they received a call around 12:30 p.m. near the scene where the altercation occurred. A report was made and police are investigating.

According to @NoelDeric neither of the men were seriously injured.