SARASOTA (WWSB) - Hardee County deputies have arrested a man who they say was using a firearm and driving with a suspended license during a road rage incident.
Jose Sanchez was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, driving while license suspended with knowledge and open carrying of weapons.
Three people told deputies that they were nearly run off the road and threatened with a firearm by Sanchez in a vehicle when passing through Zolfo Springs, Florida.
On Thursday, around 12:30 a.m., deputies responded to the Marathon gas station, located at 501 State Road 64 East in in Zolfo Springs, to meet with three victims who said they were nearly run off of the road by a black SUV and were threatened with a firearm as they tried to get away.
Deputies say the victims said Sanchez was following their vehicle and forcefully tried several times to run them off of the road and cause an accident.
When the victims say they were finally able to pass Sanchez, he quickly sped up and pulled alongside the passenger side of their vehicle, rolled down his window and pointed a rifle at them.
The victims were in fear for their lives and quickly sped to the Marathon station for safety. Deputies say Sanchez was still following the victims when he dramatically slowed his speed when entering the Zolfo Springs city limits and continued to travel north , where law enforcement located him farther up the road.
He was detained and a Marlin .22 rifle was found in the backseat along with a box of ammunition when the vehicle was searched.
Deputies say they also determined that he was also driving with a suspended license.