It’s pretty hard to predict road rage and once you become the target of a mad motorist, the best you can do is to keep your distance. That’s a lesson Sandra Poteet – who had a carload of kids with her when Roderick Woodward made her the focus of his ire – has probably learned. And she almost learned it the really hard way. As cbslocal.com recounts what happened, “She first noticed the suspect’s truck driving erratically at a toll booth several miles before the exit,” where he shot her back window out with a BB gun. What’s baffling, though, is . . .

Why the hell did she think catching up to and passing a guy who’s driving erratically and displaying all the symptoms of being drunk was a good way to go?

(Trooper Vinton) Wallace said Woodward was driving a Toyota Tundra, and Poteet was driving a Ford Explorer. Poteet, he said, tried to pass Woodward but he kept speeding up and would not let her go by.

Finally, she was able to pass and pull in front of him, but when she did, Woodward began “high beaming” her, trying to blind her, according to Wallace. As they neared the Exit 7 exit, Wallace said Woodward pulled out a BB gun and shot out the rear window.

The three kids in Poteet’s car were showered with shattered glass, but no one was hurt. It took almost a month for the staties to track Woodward down. From unionleader.com:

With only a description of the vehicle to go by, Wallace obtained a search warrant for the EZ Pass listing of vehicles that went through the toll about the time of the incident, which led to Woodward.

That’s Woodward in the photo above. And wouldn’t you just love to know what’s printed on the rest of that shirt? In any case, after his intemperate display, Woodward’s now our latest IGOTD champion. And we sincerely hope that doesn’t enrage him nearly as much as his legal bills eventually will.

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12 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Roderick Woodward

  1. My dad told me, a long time ago when I was learning to drive, that the safest place for an erratic driver to be is in front of you. Assuming you can’t exit the road they’re on, of course. Even if it means slowing down a little bit, keep them where you can see them.

    • I tend to agree that you want them where you can see them, but I also believe that being able to see them in your rearview mirror is better. My reasoning for this is that you are not placed in a position that what they do behind you, doesn’t affect your ability to get out of the area, thus being trapped behind them.

      • In a vehicle, a threat ahead of you you can evade, a threat behind you can’t, because you can’t see it coming, and even if you do SEE them in the rear view mirror, its harder to evade.

        This is why as a motorcyclist I actually prefer (CA legal) lanesplitting in stop & go (<25 mph) traffic, it changes the threat from someone behind me rear-ending me to someone in front of me turning into me: switching the threat model to threats I can evade.

        When dealing with suspicious drivers, even on a two-lane road, its almost always safer to have the very questionable driver in front of you, and slow down to create more separation.

        Especially an aggressive driver who’s taken steps to prevent people from passing them, getting to the point where they would be safely behind you is a big effort, and also likely to escalate things.

        Is it just me, or is it a good sign that TTAG has to give IGOTD to a BB-gun wielder?

      • Clark Griswold: “You want to ride behind someone who does something like that? I’m going to pull around him and leave him safely behind .”

  2. “And wouldn’t you just love to know what’s printed on the rest of that shirt?”

    After a strenuous ~45 seconds of Googling I’m going to go with either “If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport.” or “If idiots grew on trees, this place would be an orchard.”

    Also, a BB gun? Really? What kind of BB gun (I’m assuming of the pistol variety) knocks out safety glass on a moving vehicle? I’m curious as to wether he used an actual handgun. Did the police recover a bullet? The Union Leader link says the gun was not recovered. Perhaps the use of a BB gun will be a lesser charge?

    • Car rear windows are tempered safety glass: put a BB through it and they shatter.

      And a BB gun can actually have some non-trivial force: a cheapo CO2 powered pistol is sending a .177 caliber, 5-grain projectile at ~500 fps. Yes, a .22 pisol has significantly more power, a .22 pistol is shoving a 40 grain projectile at 1000 FPS.

      But that still means that a dinky BB gun is 1/16 the projectile momentum of a .22.

    • It will depend on state law if its a reduced charge. in CT, a BB gun is a firearm and you are prohibated from traveling with a loaded BB gun and if faces all the same charges as an actual firearm. The law was changed after there was a drive by shooting where a child was killed by a BB gun.

  3. In the above situation the wisest thing to do is note the plate #, exit if possible or stop on the shoulder and report the incident.

    This accomplishes several things.
    1. It notifies the police of a potentially dangerous situation.
    2. It allows you to assess the situation. If the other driver stops, it is personal and nothing short of police intervention will stop escalation.
    3. If the driver continues on, it puts greater distance between you.
    4. It gives the enraged driver time and opportunity to calm down.
    5. In the event of tragic escalation, it establishes your attempt to avoid.
    6. In the event of a fatal confrontation, it provides the police with the plate # of the assailants vehicle.

  4. It seems to me that ol’ Rod the Clod earned himself an IBBGOTD Award fer sur, but not the highly-prized IGOTD. Now, if he’d shot the rear window out of the car with a Hi-Point, then he’d have earned himself a realio and trulio IGOTD, with an oak leaf cluster for marksmanship.

    Allegedly.

  5. I agree with slowing down, and keeping sight of the aggressive driver. Alternatively, you could easily pass a Tundra with a decent muscle car or sports car. An Explorer would be a poor choice for passing – as clearly played out in this story. Know the capabilities of your car, and the other car (if it is in a stock configuration, anyways). The problem is, most people have little idea what the capabilities of their vehicles are.

    A lot of road rage idiots drive trucks like sports cars.

    • True facts, that. But at the same time, a lot of people think their V6 Mustang is capable of rally cross style maneuvers and formula 1 speeds…

      Give yourself time to react.

      What probably wanst mentioned is that yon soccer mom didn’t want to be shown up in front of her kids, and passed him just for the heck of it.

      Ego causes more problems than just about anything.

  6. if I knew what IGODT, TTAG, and IBBGODT stood for, I would know what Ralph and Anonymouse were talking about. if the guy had used a little more TPOKLDF, he’d have left his popgun at home.

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