Bat brandished in road rage threat

A WARWICK man has described feeling “shaken” after a fellow road user wielding a baseball bat forced him to reverse back across a single-lane bridge on the outskirts of the city yesterday.

The alleged incident happened about 10am on the bridge on the northern side of the John Dee Abattoir on the Warwick-Allora Road.

The local was coming into the city and described being “halfway across the bridge” when a driver coming from the opposite direction failed to give way and met him in the middle of the crossing.

“I was driving slowly and I just signalled for him to go back,” the shaken man said.

“But he stopped right in front of me, sat there for a while, then got out of his vehicle carrying a baseball bat.

“When he approached my vehicle with the baseball bat, I said ‘mate you were meant to give way your end and you came straight through’.

“He wouldn’t acknowledge he was in the wrong, he just told me to ‘back up’.”

The driver, who remained in his vehicle during the incident, then asked what the man intended to do with the baseball bat, which he kept tapping in the palm of his hand.

“He told me it wasn’t a baseball bat, it was a ‘tyre checker’ and sure enough there was a sticker on the bat saying ‘tyre checker’,” he said.

“I just couldn’t believe it – this is Warwick, you don’t expect to be confronted by some angry bloke with a bat. I told him I had his rego and would be talking to the police, but he just kept holding the bat.”

The driver said despite feeling he was “right according to the road rules” he was intimidated enough to reverse.

He admitted in his shaken state it took three attempts to reverse the vehicle and trailer he was towing back across the narrow bridge.

“I have felt a bit wary of some of the blokes I have played footy against,” he said.

“But this was more confronting because it was day-to-day life... it was seriously unnerving; this bloke was having a very bad morning.”

Warwick Police said yesterday the matter had been reported and investigations were continuing, with charges not yet laid.

Meanwhile Warwick and District Community Road Safety Group chairman Graham Buchner said the incident was both surprising and concerning.

“I am very surprised to hear of an incident like this in our area,” he said.

“The fact someone may have over-reacted like this to such a small matter is concerning.”

He said the road safety group was opposed to anyone resorting to threatening behaviour to solve road differences.

However Mr Buchner did clarify the concept of a “tyre checker”.

He said drivers operating vehicles with dual tyres regularly carried a heavy instrument for the purpose of checking tyres.

He said banging a heavy bar or hammer against dual tyres allowed drivers to ascertain which tyre was low on air.

Anyone with information or were witness to yesterday’s incident are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Warwick Police on 4660 4444.

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