HONOLULU (KHON2) — A road rage incident that started as a minor traffic run-in got out of hand quickly and ended with a man and his dog fleeing their burning car after another man shot a flare gun into his window.
The interior of a white Jeep has been completely torched; the dashboard melted. The victim, who asked not to be identified, said he feared for his life. The incident did not need to end in the way that it did.
It all started when the victim saw a car driving erratically and speeding while going eastbound on Ala Moana Boulevard. This happened just after 10 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25.
The victim said he flashed his lights at the car speeding, and that was when the car pulled in front of him and brake-checked him. When he pulled up next to the speeding car, he said he heard a bang and saw the flare come into the passenger side window of his jeep. The flare hit the windshield and landed on the floorboard.
He and his dog were able to make it out unharmed, but his car burned beyond repair.
According to Sgt. Chris Kim of CrimeStoppers, Monday’s incident was another unfortunate case of road rage.
“We’ve seen time and time again where cases like this have happened, where a simple traffic incident then escalates to a road rage incident,” Kim said.
He said the number one thing to remember if you see an aggressive driver is: Do not engage.
Kim said you never know what anyone else is capable of — they could pull out a gun. In this case, the other driver shot a flare gun into the victim’s car.
Boat safety expert Rafe Maldonado said flares and flare guns can be extremely dangerous if used for anything other than a distress mechanism.
“You would not want to be standing in front of it if somebody shot it at you, that’s for sure,” Maldonado said. “It’s a glowing hot ember. It’s meant to be seen from miles away in the sky, so it’s not like a flashlight. You could definitely do some damage with it. It’s a pyrotechnic — just like a firework.”
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The investigation into Monday night’s incident is ongoing.