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Road rage brawl: Injured driver says he was followed before beating

June 21, 2012 |  9:00 am

A man beaten on Interstate 5 in an apparent act of road rage said the brawl caught on video began because he accidentally cut off another car on the 710 Freeway, which then followed him for miles.

A day after suffering a black eye, concussion and cut elbow, Jerry Patterson said that getting out of his car June 12 to fight was a mistake.

Cellphone video taken by a passing motorist shows Patterson and three other men involved in what began as a one-on-one fistfight on the northbound side of Interstate 5 at 7th Street early that afternoon.

By the end of the fight, two of the men are shown kicking Patterson as he lay sprawled on the ground.

In an interview with KTLA News, Patterson said the other car followed him from Long Beach to Boyle Heights after he accidentally cut them off.

"From that point, they followed me, throwing things at the car, insults out the window," Patterson told the station. "I'm like, 'Man, come on, I'm sorry.' "

After merging onto Interstate 5 from the 710 Freeway, Patterson said the men cut him off on the onramp, stopping him and every car behind him. The situation left him “trapped” he said, so he got out of the car to fight.

"I think anybody who lives in L.A. and drives in this traffic every day like I do for a living, it's like, you kind of get [upset] sometimes at people," Patterson told KTLA. "But there's a difference between getting mad at someone and trying to kick someone in the head when they're down.”

Patterson said he has "moved on" and doesn't plan to press charges, but police have launched an investigation.

In a news conference Wednesday morning, Sgt. Denise Joslin said investigators were trying to identifythree parties that were involved in a confrontation on the side of the freeway.”


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-- Matt Stevens