Road rage near Niceville leads to one arrest

NICEVILLE, Fla., Sept. 30, 2021—A road rage incident near Niceville yesterday afternoon led to one vehicle ramming another and shots being fired in response.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Taylor James Sylvester

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office charged Niceville resident Taylor James Sylvester, 22, with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

A Crestview man and his cousin were coming home from work in a red Ford pickup truck around 4:30 p.m. near State Roads 20 and 293 when they used the shoulder of the road to pass a blue Nissan Infiniti waiting to turn left onto County Line Road from Hwy 20, according to the arrest report.

According to the pickup driver, the Infiniti driver, later identified as Sylvester, began to chase the men in the pickup and rammed the truck’s rear bumper before the vehicles separated.

The truck turned onto SR 293 and the car continued west on Hwy 20.

An independent third-party witness traveling south on Hwy 85 was nearing the light at College Boulevard in Niceville at the time when she saw the Infiniti speeding up on the pickup in the northbound lane.

According to the arrest report, she saw the Infiniti swerve behind the truck then saw the car hit the rear of the pickup, causing the truck to swerve due to a loss of traction from the impact.

Sylvester “was upset,” apparently because he thought the pickup was going to hit him as he sat waiting to turn, according to the arrest report. He claimed the truck “brake checked” him just before it got to the Hwy 293 on-ramp. He also said the truck occupants threw boiled peanuts at his car.

The pickup driver told deputies a short time later, while on SR 85, the Infiniti came out of nowhere and hit his driver’s side door several times.

After catching up with the pickup on Hwy 85, Sylvester began yelling obscenities and made obscene hand gestures at the truck, according to the report.

The pickup driver said he feared for his life and shot one round from his 9mm handgun toward the Infiniti as it continued harassing him, hitting the car’s radiator, causing it to leak.

At that point, Sylvester turned around, away from the truck, according to the report.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies found damage on the truck’s rear and driver’s side. Damage from a bullet was found in the radiator of Sylvester’s car.

Staff and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office news release

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