Alleged road rage incident may have been racially motivated

A suspected incident of racially-charged road rage landed a Lutz man in jail Tuesday morning.

Witnesses corroborated the victim's account that the suspect rammed his vehicle and yelled racial slurs during the incident. 

It happened just before 11 a.m. Tuesday on Burce B Downs Boulevard at Amberly Drive. 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says John Wallace Gordon, Jr., 57, of Lutz, began following closely behind a Nissan, flashing the headlights of his white pickup truck. 

The victim pulled into the center lane, but another car pulled in front of him, so he put on his brakes. 

HCSO says that's when Gordon rammed his truck into the back of the Nissan, causing it to fishtail. 

“When a vehicle is ramming you like that there's really very little that you can do except hope for the best,” said TPD spokesman Steve Hegarty. “That’s dangerous to everybody who's on the road."

The victim regained control of his car and the truck sped up and drove up next to him. 

Deputies say Gordon veered into the victim's lane and slammed into the side of his car multiple times.

The victim's Nissan was pushed across two lanes of traffic and onto a concrete guardrail.

Gordon, a white male, stopped his truck next to the victim's Nissan. He then yelled racial slurs at the victim, who is a black male. 

“The pickup truck ran into the car and then pulled alongside of the car and rammed it a few times before the car came to a rest along a guardrail,” Hegarty said. 

HCSO deputies say witnesses corroborated what happened.

Gordon complained of neck and back pain and was taken to TGH, where he was medically cleared.  He was arrested for aggravated battery and taken to jail for booking.