Woman says she was punched in face during road rage incident in Clarksville

Photo: WKRN

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman says she was punched in the face during a road rage incident in Clarksville.

Angela Peterson told News 2 she was on a drive down Wilma Rudolph Boulevard when it happened.

“I get over in the middle lane to turn left, but it was too soon so I put my blinker on to get back over to the right,” explained Peterson.

Thomas Jerles
Thomas Jerles

She was not familiar with the area so she was depending on her navigation system.

“We all came to a stop at the red light and this man who was behind me just got out and started banging on my window,” said Peterson.

That man was 69-year-old Thomas Jerles. According to a police report, when Peterson rolled down her window, Jerles reached through and punched her in the face.

“I rolled down the window and I said, ‘Sir, sir!’ and he hit me in the face,” said Peterson.

Jerles then got back in his car and drove off.

Peterson called police, who found him a short time after.

Jerles was taken into custody and charged with burglary of a motor vehicle because he had to reach into her car to reach her.

“I didn’t do anything wrong even if I had I don’t think that gives anyone the right to step out of their vehicle,” said Peterson.

According to a new report from AAA, road rage is more common than you might think. The report says 80% of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once last year.
51 percent of people said they purposefully tailgated someone and 33 percent said they made angry gestures.

“3 percent of the people do the bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose,” said Deborah Turner with AAA. “I mean that is just crazy and as many people and drivers as we have now in Nashville we have to be safer.”

Nearly 2 in 3 drivers believe that aggressive driving is a bigger problem than it was three years ago.

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