NORTH PORT — A road rage incident that involved several gunshots began as a dispute over parking at a restaurant, according to police reports released Monday.
Patrick Benet Erickson, 42, of the 4600 block of Laramie Circle, North Port, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, and one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle. The assault charges are third-degree felonies, while the shooting charge is a second-degree felony. He was released from the Sarasota County Jail Thursday on $15,000 bond.
The incident happened around 3:10 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Pink Tequila restaurant, 1163 N. Toledo Blade Blvd., reports show.
The victim, whose name police redacted from the report due to Marcy’s Law, told police he got into an argument with Erickson about the way he was parked in the lot. During the argument, Erickson got an expandable baton out of his truck “and brandished it while approaching in an aggressive manner,” the report shows. Erickson then asked, “wanna see my gun?” the report states.
The victim and Erickson drove off in their vehicles, with Erickson’s truck in front of the victim’s, going down Price Boulevard and turning onto Chamberlain Boulevard. At one point, Erickson stopped his truck “in the middle of the travel lane. The victim attempted to pass and continue, and heard gunshots from the defendant’s vehicle. The victim said he feared he was being shot at and drove away.
Police went to Erickson’s home on Laramie Circle, which is near Interstate 75, about a mile north of the Charlotte County line and took him into custody. During their investigation, officers found a pistol on the front seat of Erickson’s truck. Erickson admitted to arguing with the other man, to brandishing his baton and firing the shots, the report shows.
Court records show Erickson has been arrested twice in Sarasota County, once for battery and once for DUI, both in 2008. The battery charges were later dropped. He was also charged with DUI-second offense in Charlotte County in 2009 and obstruction in Charlotte County that same year.
Erickson has an arraignment date set for Feb. 12.