ENGLEWOOD (WWSB) - A Charlotte County man is accused of using a machete to damage a windshield during a road rage incident on the El Jobean Bridge in Englewood Monday.
Deputies pulled up to the bridge in an unmarked vehicle shortly before 5pm to discover a traffic jam. The bridge had been damaged over the weekend in a crash, forcing some lanes to be closed.
Deputies say they saw four men on the bridge outside of their vehicles arguing and it looked like things were going to get physical, so they pulled behind one of the vehicles and activated their lights. When they exited, three of the men pointed at 38-year-old Michael Cittadino of Punta Gorda and started shouting, "He's got a knife! He's got a machete!"
Cittadino was clenching his fists, according to deputies, and reaching his hands into his pockets and ignoring their commands to show his hands. Cittadino was detained.
One of the three men told deputies that he had merged in front of Cittadino as he approached the bridge before getting stopped in traffic. He says that's when Cittadino got out of his vehicle with a machete and hit the victim's windshield. Deputies say the windshield had visible damage.
The victim, fearing for the safety of his girlfriend and child, got out of his vehicle to draw Cittadino away. The two other men are the victim's co-workers. They were stuck on the bridge and seeing what was happening got out to help the victim.
Deputies took statements from all three men and Cittadino before charging Cittadino with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Criminal Mischief, and Resisting an Officer Without Violence.
Cittadino was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated for back pain before being brought to the Charlotte County Jail. His vehicle was impounded pending a search warrant to look for the machete.