LAND O'LAKES -- The fight started Monday morning as a father was taking his kids to school. By the end, one man was left with a bloody mouth; the other with bloody knuckles and a trip to the jail.
Robert Bower, 34, told Pasco sheriff's deputies he was driving his children to Pine View Elementary School in his tan Chevy Silverado when a gray Honda Accord, driven by Brian Todd Gabbard, cut him off.
He passed Gabbard and flipped him off, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Gabbard caught up and passed him. A witness saw the vehicles tearing down Collier Parkway, running each other off the road.
Bower came to a stop at Pine-view Elementary, behind a line of other parents waiting to drop off their children. Gabbard pulled up behind him and got out.
Bower told officers he tried to roll up his driver-side window, but authorities say Gabbard punched it out. Glass showered Bower and his children.
Bower tried to open his door. Deputies say Gabbard slammed it shut, then punched Bower 10 to 12 times in the face.
Deputies found Bower with bleeding gums and a busted lip, his children covered in glass. Gabbard said his lip was also split from where, he said, Bower had thrown the first punch from inside his truck.
Bower was treated by the school nurse.
Gabbard was taken to Land O'Lakes jail on a charge of burglary with battery. He was released after posting $150,000 bail.
Alex Orlando can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.