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Man driving to hospital attacked by enraged driver, Hernando County deputies say

SPRING HILL — A man in intense pain from a kidney stone who was driving himself to the hospital Tuesday was attacked by another driver who told deputies he was upset by the ailing man's driving.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office gave this account: The 51-year-old victim was heading south on Mariner Boulevard to Spring Hill Regional Hospital when he saw Erik Nathan Arnold, 26, of Spring Hill, driving behind him in a gold Mitsubishi, waving his hands and yelling at him.

Arnold allegedly pulled his car beside the man's sport utility vehicle, rolled down his window and began to yell profanities at him.

The man told deputies that he tried to get away, moving into a left turning lane and pulling into the parking lot of Brewer & Sons Funeral Home at 280 Mariner Blvd. Arnold allegedly followed the victim into the parking lot, got out of his car and approached the man.

According to the report, the victim, who speaks limited English, rolled down his window a few inches and Arnold stuck his hand into the car and poked him in the face. Feeling defenseless, the man got out of his car and was then allegedly punched in the nose by Arnold.

The victim "began to fight back in an attempt to defend himself," according to the report. The man had a small laceration on the bridge of his nose and nearly had his shirt ripped off.

Arnold left the scene in the vehicle but witness reports helped deputies track the car to Arnold's girlfriend's home. The deputies met Arnold and his girlfriend at the home, where Arnold was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and burglary of a conveyance.

Arnold was being held in the Hernando County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $30,000 bail. His court date is set for March 31.

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or at (352) 754-6120.

Man driving to hospital attacked by enraged driver, Hernando County deputies say 02/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 7:40pm]
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