New Ken driver charged with road rage on Kittanning man
Police say a road rage incident Monday afternoon involving a gun began on Route 28 and ended in New Kensington with nobody hurt.
However, state police said charges are being filed against the man with the gun, Michael Waugaman, 42, of 1421 Taylor Ave., New Kensington.
Police said the incident began at about 3:45 p.m. when, just south of the Freeport exit, Michael Lattanzio, 60, of Kittanning came up behind Waugaman's slower-moving car in the passing lane of Route 28 southbound.
“He didn't move over, so I tapped on the horn,” Lattanzio said.
When the motorist would not move over, Lattanzio said he passed the car on the right.
“He flipped me off, I flipped him off and I thought that was it,” Lattanzio said.
But Lattanzio said the motorist followed him down Route 28 and pulled up next to his van, which was now traveling in the right lane.
“He got right up beside me, he got a gun out and pointed it at me, which caused me to duck and which made him laugh,” Lattanzio said.
Trooper Timothy Amy said that happened just south of the Burtner Road exit (Exit 15) in Harrison.
“Once the gun came out, that's when (Lattanzio) called 911,” Amy said.
Meanwhile, Lattanzio, who was headed for Valley High School in New Kensington, said he got off at the Tarentum exit (Exit 14). He said the motorist with the gun was right behind him and stayed behind him through Tarentum and across the bridge into New Kensington.
New Kensington police intercepted Waugaman's car at the intersection of Tarentum Bridge Road and Freeport Road and pulled him over into the parking lot of Buffalo Bill's restaurant.
Lattanzio continued on to Valley High School, where he was met by police and then drove up to the parking lot across from Buffalo Bill's where he provided police with a written statement.
When asked if he had anything to say, Waugaman replied, “All I did was brandish it (gun). I never did anything before, so I'm not worried.”
Amy said that Waugaman claimed Lattanzio was tailgating and harassing him on Route 28, and that's what led to the incident.
“He admits to pulling (the gun) out just high enough for (Lattanzio) to see it,” the trooper said.
After handing his statement to Amy, the visibly shaken Lattanzio was told he could leave.
“I'm going to sit for a while, I'll be honest with you,” Lattanzio replied.
Although Waugaman was not taken into custody, his handgun was.
Amy said the .45-caliber semiautomatic was loaded and had a round in the chamber. He said the gun was registered and Waugaman had a permit for it.
The trooper said misdemeanor charges of recklessly endangering another person, simple assault-physical menace, terroristic threats, along with some traffic violations, among them reckless driving would be filed against Waugaman. Amy said Waugaman will be issued a court summons through the mail.
Amy said it was fortunate that the incident did not end with someone killed or injured in a shooting or an accident.
Noting that road rage incidents on Route 28 have become more prevalent, Amy said: “I don't know what it's going to take for all this to stop. There's a lot of angry people out there.”
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- Police identify Harmar man as victim in Washington Township crash
- Bridge dedicated to mark completion of Butler-Freeport Community Trail
- Ex-church youth leader to face trial for forcing teen girl to have sex
- Oklahoma Borough drilling, supply owner to stand trial for stealing natural gas
- Vandergrift man accused of sexual assault
- 1 dead in Washington Township crash
- Deer Lakes identifies fired employee after newspaper’s Right to Know request
- ATI contract expires today; union reports no progress in negotiations
- Leechburg residents begin holiday lights campaign
- Time is running out for ATI contract negotiations