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November 16, 2010  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

Man charged for pulling gun on bus driver


FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Fort Myers man has been arrested and charged for pulling a gun on a school bus driver that he felt cut him off in traffic, police said.

The bus driver told authorities that on Monday morning, he left the parking lot of A & S Transportation and headed west on a local road. He then noticed a white jeep approaching from behind the bus without its lights illuminated. Feeling he may have inadvertently cut in front of the jeep, the bus driver slowed and pulled to the side of the road so that the jeep could pass him. The jeep passed the bus and both vehicles came to a stop at a red light. The driver of the jeep, who authorities later identified as Blake Gracie, then flashed an obscene gesture with his finger and the bus driver returned the gesture.

At this point, Gracie exited his vehicle and told the bus driver to get off the bus. Gracie then opened his rear passenger door and retrieved a rifle. Raising its barrel, he pointed the rifle directly at the bus driver, who remained seated on the bus. Gracie got back in his vehicle and drove away.

The bus driver was able to get a partial license plate number and also noticed a sticker on the rear window that had a picture of the state of Florida with the word “Cracker” written through it. There was one student in the back of the bus at the time. Neither the student nor the bus driver was injured. The student was safely dropped off at his school.

Detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit assumed investigation of the incident. Based on where the bus driver and another witness saw the jeep drive, detectives canvassed the area and discovered the jeep parked at a residence. Gracie was taken into custody and positively identified by the witness as the person who pointed the rifle at the bus driver.

After questioning, detectives arrested Gracie and charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

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This is all well and good but was the driver reprimanded for flipping the bird at the other driver? The poor example set for the kid(s) is reason enough!

Tim Bentz    |    Nov 17, 2010 08:59 AM

The "cracker" needs to spend some time in jail. The bus driver should be reprimanded at the very least. When signaled with the bird if the driver would simply have shrugged his shoulders and mouthed I'm sorry the whole incident might never have escalated. Road rage is a serious problem and any action by a bus driver to encourage it should not be tolerated especially with a student on the bus.

McMWest    |    Nov 17, 2010 08:17 AM

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