A late-night run to a Winter Haven McDonald’s led to what’s being called a road rage incident in the restaurant’s double drive-thru lanes Saturday night.
According to Winter Haven police, Howard Carl Wilson, 68, was arrested and charged with simple battery after he got into an argument with Brittani Thomas, a passenger in a car in front of him.
Around 11:20 p.m. at the McDonald’s at 245 6th Street NW, Wilson was in one lane of the double drive-thru and Thomas was in another. Thomas’ vehicle pulled in front of Wilson’s after ordering and that did not sit well with Wilson, police said.
According to police, Wilson was heard by witnesses yelling profanities and racial slurs through his window toward the other vehicle. After a few moments, Wilson exited his van and approached the passenger side of the vehicle where Thomas was sitting.
She opened the door and asked what his problem was.
Police say video taken by another person in the drive-thru shows that as the encounter continued for almost two moments, Thomas attempted to close the door multiple times. But Wilson held the door open, prohibiting Thomas from closing it while he continued yelling.
Just as the other vehicles in line ahead began to move forward, Wilson reached in the vehicle and punched Thomas in the face, according to police. Wilson then went back to his van, got in and drove off.
Officers eventually located him at his home where he admitted to being at McDonald’s on that evening, but said he was only at the passenger door of the vehicle for no more than 15 seconds.
Police said he said he was angry because the other vehicle cut him off and he almost struck it. However, after seeing the video, he realized the situation was much more than he recalled.
Wilson told the officers, “It was like a road rage incident.”
Wilson was charged with simple battery and booked into the Polk County Jail. He has since bonded out.