A man’s driver’s license was revoked Monday after he was seen barreling down the Massachusetts Turnpike with a 65-year-old man clinging to the hood of his SUV, according to CBS Boston.
Richard Kamrowski and Mark Fitzgerald, 37, were involved in a “minor, sideswipe collision” Friday afternoon before things escalated, Massachusetts State Police said in a statement. Their conversation soon became “adversarial,” and Fitzgerald began driving away, prompting Kamrowski to jump onto Fitzgerald’s 2016 Infiniti.
Bystander video captured the harrowing aftermath: Kamrowski hanging on for his life as Fitzgerald appears to try to shake him off — traveling for nearly three miles and reaching speeds of 70 mph before other motorists intervened.
Miraculously, police say, no one was harmed. A state police report obtained by the Boston Globe says Kamrowski later told investigators that “he thought he was going to die.”
“I thought he was going to run over me . . . he just kept going fast then slow, fast then slow, trying to get me to slide off,” Kamrowski told reporters late Friday. “I just kept telling him stop the car, stop the car — and he wouldn’t stop.”
The situation was defused by other drivers on the road, who police say worked in tandem to slow down Fitzgerald and box him in. One of the drivers, who police later confirmed was a licensed gun owner, is seen using his weapon to order Fitzgerald out of his vehicle.
CBS Boston reports that Fitzgerald appeared in court Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon on a person over age 60, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. His license was revoked, and he was ordered to stay away from Kamrowski, who was charged with disorderly conduct and malicious damage to a motor vehicle.
Police say Kamrowski removed a water bottle from Fitzgerald’s car during the exchange and later used it to break the man’s windshield in an attempt to stop him. Kamrowski also pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, and his attorney, Joseph Comenzo, told reporters outside the courthouse Monday that the ordeal was an “incredibly scary experience.”
“All he was looking to do is exchange information,” Comenzo said, according to the Boston Herald.
Fitzgerald’s attorney, however, painted Kamrowski as an aggressor who snatched Fitzgerald’s water bottle and used it to damage his client’s windshield. Michael Chinman told reporters Monday that his client is not a “bad man” and feared for his safety when Kamrowski jumped on his car, CBS Boston reports.
“If someone was attacking me, if someone smashed my windshield, had already tried to attack me from both sides of my car, I think my first thought would be, ‘Let’s get out of here.’ I think everybody reasonably acts to protect their own safety,” Chinman said. “I was astonished that a man would jump onto the hood of a moving car when there was, by all accounts, extremely minor contact between the cars before that.”
Chinman added, “I just don’t think the evidence is there that Mr. Fitzgerald was a bad man."