Road rage with a shovel. Construction worker attacks motorist who cursed at him, cops say

A 23-year-old man is behind bars after attacking a motorist and her male passenger with a shovel while working on a road project in Bradenton, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Roger Rubio was working as a concrete finisher on Cortez Road near 26th Street West when the victims drove by at about 3 p.m. Thursday.

According to the arrest report, the male victim, a passenger in the vehicle, saw the workers digging a hole while Rubio was on his phone. The victim yelled at Rubio, “Why don’t you get off your phone and help dig.”

Deputies say Rubio responded by cursing at the victim, who cursed back at Rubio, who then approached the vehicle with the shovel.

Rubio then began hitting the vehicle with the shovel, causing about $2,000 in damage and then struck the male victim in the arm with the shovel twice, according to the report.

The woman driving the vehicle quickly drove off and parked at a nearby gas station to call law enforcement, according to the report.

Deputies say Rubio was not on scene when they arrived, but came back about 20 minutes later and admitted that he became angry, “due to the victim swearing obscenities at him, so he hit the victim’s truck with a shovel.”

Rubio was booked into the Manatee County jail on a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge and felony criminal mischief. He remains in custody pending a future court date.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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