TAMPA — What began as a dispute over speeding in a Riverview neighborhood culminated Tuesday when the driver pursued and then ran over a man who had copied down his tag number, authorities said.
Richard K. Simpson, 41, faces a felony charge of attempted murder after he struck Carlos Caicedo, 39, with his car, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Caicedo was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital and was in critical condition.
"I would say horrific," said a witness, Dennis Miranda Jr. "It was very graphic. Mangled."
Miranda was working in the neighborhood's recreation area when he heard arguing, tires screeching and metal crashing.
He went outside and saw Caicedo down in the road, with blood around him. Miranda said Caicedo seemed to have suffered injuries to his legs and head. He saw Simpson as well, who he said was quiet for the most part and cooperating with deputies who had arrived at the scene.
It began around 10:30 a.m., the Sheriff's Office said, when Caicedo saw Simpson speeding in a Honda Civic through their Silver Dancer Drive neighborhood. Simpson almost ran into a child, sheriff's officials said.
Caicedo took down Simpson's license tag. But Simpson then chased Caicedo, who was in a Dodge Durango, to near Ambleside Boulevard and Golden Silence Drive, authorities said.
Both got out of their vehicles and began arguing. At some point, Simpson got back into the Civic and ran into Caicedo, leaving him with serious injuries, authorities said.
"The guy backed up really quickly, and then came flying forward at him," another witness, Justin Pickens, told Bay News 9. "Hit the car, hit him, his head hit the windshield. He was bleeding everywhere."
Attempts to reach Caicedo's family Tuesday were unsuccessful. A person who answered a phone associated with Simpson declined to comment.
Arthur Parker, a neighbor of Simpson's, said he has had problems with Simpson since moving to the neighborhood around 2006. He said Simpson had been speeding before, and he had called the police on him. "We try to be good neighbors," Parker said.
State records show that Simpson has had only one driving violation since his Florida license was issued in 2004 — a citation in 2010 for going 65 mph in a 50 mph zone. A judge withheld adjudication in the case.
Both men involved in the road rage incident have arrest records for offenses against people, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Caicedo was arrested in 2007 on a felony charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Records show the charge was reduced and he was sentenced to six months of probation.
Simpson was arrested in October on misdemeanor charge of domestic battery and a felony charge of obstructing an officer with violence. He was out of jail on $2,500 bail in that case when he was arrested Tuesday. He was held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bail.
News researcher John Martin and staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report.