Sunday, June 24, 2018
Public safety

Deputies: Man tried to beat up driver in road rage incident near Plant City

TAMPA — Deputies detained a Guatemalan man Sunday evening after they said he forced another driver off the road and attempted to beat him up.

The road-rage incident happened about 8 p.m. on County Line Road near Plant City, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Roberto Pablo-Sebastian, 26 of Fort Lauderdale, was a passenger in an Acura sedan traveling alongside a Chevrolet pickup truck when he started yelling at the men inside — driver David Blackburn and passenger Randall Vining, both of Plant City.

Pablo-Sebastian grabbed the Acura's steering wheel from the driver — Manuel Thomas Manuel — and tried to ram Blackburn's truck, deputies said.

Blackburn tried to escape by turning, but the Acura followed.

Soon after, Pablo-Sebastian grabbed the steering wheel and again tried to strike the truck, deputies said, forcing Blackburn to pull onto a grassy shoulder.

Pablo-Sebastian got out of the car and tried to open the truck door to get at Blackburn, deputies said. But it was locked.

Blackburn grabbed a shotgun from the back seat, deputies said. He lowered the window, pointed it at Pablo-Sebastian and told him to step away from the truck.

But Pablo-Sebastian refused. According to the Sheriff's Office, he grabbed the shotgun and screamed, "Shoot me!"

Eventually, Blackburn regained control of the gun and raised the window. Deputies arrived and detained Pablo-Sebastian.

Pablo-Sebastian has been living in the United States illegally, deputies said, and was being held for federal authorities. He faces local charges of aggravated assault and attempted burglary.

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