Minneapolis road rage punch prompts frustration toward investigation

Amy Smith says she was attacked by an angry driver with Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon.
Amy Smith says she was attacked by an angry driver with Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon.

- Amy Smith was on her way to care for a hospice patient last Wednesday around noon when she encountered an angry driver at the intersection of 22nd Street E. and 2nd Avenue S. in Minneapolis.

“I heard screeching breaks and he reversed down Franklin Avenue to come after me,” Amy said.

The driver stopped in front of her car and got out, then Smith accidentally unlocked her doors instead of locking them.

“Next thing I know he had whipped my car door open, still yelling and screaming right in my face, punched me twice, continued to yell and swear. I was trying my hardest to get him out of my car telling him to leave me alone.”

Over a week later, the Smith's frustration has turned from the suspect who took off... to police.

An officer took a report and pictures of her injuries, plus witnesses provided the license plate number. Still, the victim questions why it's now standard procedure for the fifth-degree misdemeanor assault to be investigated by the city attorney instead of police.

“Is Minneapolis a safe haven for criminals?" said Christopher Smith, Amy’s husband. “Because they know  what they can get away with in Minneapolis versus other cities in the metro area.”

Defense attorney Joe Tamburino disagrees, echoing the same comments as a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department who says it’s about an allocation of resources

“Obviously if you have any police department, Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, you are going to want to concentrate on the more serious crimes first…child abuse, rape, aggravated robbery, gang related crimes,” Tamburino said. “Those are the ones you want to focus on. Now it doesn't mean you are going to throw all your fifth-degree misdemeanors to the wayside, it's just a matter of triaging.”

Some states have specific road rage laws which can increase punishment for this type of crime, but Minnesota is not one of them.

“I'm not one to give up," Christopher said. “I'm going to make sure this guy is off the street before he beats some other woman in her face, in her car.”


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