ST. PETRSBURG, Fla. - A St. Petersburg man was arrested Thursday night and charged in a road rage incident that ended with a woman being run over, police said.
Michael James Deely, 48, is charged with aggravated battery.
On the night of April 24, a 39-year-old woman was dragged 50 feet before she was run over by a pickup truck in the area of 4th Avenue South and 4th Street., according to a police statement and a witness.
Her right arm was broken in multiple places and her shoulder was separated.
She told investigators that she was being tailgated by the driver of a truck. She said the driver began honking his horn and pulled in front of her. He then began slamming on his brakes, causing her to stop abruptly, she said.
When both vehicles stopped for a red light, she got out and approached the driver to find out what was going on, according to a police statement. It was then, she said, that the truck driver grabbed her arm and dragged her.
When he was arrested, detectives said Deely admitted that he was the driver of the truck, but he told a different story.
He said that he was behind the woman at a light that had turned green. He believed she was texting and honked his horn to get her moving.
He said he passed her and then stopped at another red light. He claimed she got out of her car and began yelling at him through his open window.
He denied that he grabbed her, saying instead that she grabbed the door and held on. He also claimed that he didn't know he had run over her when she let go.
Statements from a witness to the incident, Justin Tredeau, seem to back up at least some of the woman's version of events.
"They were driving, he was speeding up and slowing down, slamming on the brakes, just to make her mad," Trudeau recalled.
"She got out of the car, went to say something and it looked like she tried pushing him or something," Trudeau said. He added the truck was traveling about 25 mph while the woman was being dragged.
Trudeau, a military veteran, rushed to help. He said he held the woman's arm upright to control the bleeding.
"She hit the ground pretty hard," Trudeau said.
Detectives said they were able to identify Deely's vehicle from video at a parking garage and swipe card information that he used to pay for parking at the garage.
Deely was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and his 2002 silver Toyota Tacoma impounded.