Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Deputies: Firefighter aimed gun during U.S. 19 road rage incident

HUDSON — A Lakeland firefighter was arrested late Saturday after the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said he pointed a firearm at another driver during a road rage incident.

Peter Jason Martucci, 40, was arrested shortly after 11:30 p.m. at a home on Beverly Drive on a felony charge of aggravated assault. There, deputies said they found a 9 mm handgun inside his truck, loaded with eight bullets.

Martucci was placed on paid administrative leave from the Lakeland Fire Department on Monday morning, according to the department, pending the results of an internal investigation.

The incident took place at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The arrest report said Martucci started tailgating Steven Petros, who was driving north on U.S. 19 in his 1999 Lincoln Town Car. Martucci drove behind Petros in a 2016 white GMC pickup.

As Petros and Martucci continued along U.S. 19 in the inside left lane, Petros told deputies the pickup started to flash its headlights after they passed Embassy Boulevard.

Petros moved into the center lane, but the pickup sped up next to him and began to swerve into his lane, the report said. Petros said he sped ahead and pulled back into the left lane, where the truck got behind him again.

Eventually Petros turned off U.S. 19 and ended up at Sea Ranch Drive and Old Dixie Highway in Hudson. He told deputies the truck pulled up next to the driver’s side of his car.

From the pickup, Martucci pointed a black semiautomatic handgun at him, Petros told deputies, uttered obscenities at him and said: "You’re gonna die tonight."

Petros drove away and said he saw the truck drive away west.

At the same time, the report said witness Joshua Tyson saw the pickup tailgating Petros and pull up to his car. Tyson also got the pickup’s license plate number, the arrest report said.

Martucci was released from the county jail Sunday morning after posting $5,000 bail.

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