Is Road Rage the New Rage?

Section Editor: Logan Haines

Crime is happening on a daily basis. If people really stop and care to look around, they’ll probably notice an illegal activity or two near them. Now crimes can come in any form or fashion, some are more severe than others, some more dangerous. To commit a crime someone has to be troubled, idiotic, or downright morally ambivalent towards the rights of others.

On a general basis, human beings are quite caring and thoughtful towards each other, even in the face of total strangers. Whether it be out of instinctual kindness or debilitating social anxiety, who knows, but all of that changes the moment engines begin to rev. It seems that whenever people are in cars all care about the rest of mankind is thrown out the window and run over at lethal speeds.

They appear to forget other members of their species, made of flesh and bone, sit behind the wheels of the fleet of 2-ton steel mammoths riding alongside them. This makes automobile related criminal activity especially dangerous. There are countless numbers of vehicular transgressions that occur in the metro area, and here are a few to keep you vigilante and mindful.

Not a month ago Woodstock High School senior Parker Tingle told us her brother’s car “was broken into and they stole his laptop, although it was partly his fault living in Smyrna and not locking his car.”

The most recent case took place on Oct. 18 where a 31-year-old man, Juandricus Bennett, from Fulton County who had been investigated on suspect of armed robbery of several vehicles from a facility. Investigators say they spotted one of the stolen vehicles near the 3000 block of Invemere Woods Court.

Bennett was driving the stolen, and upon officers attempting to pull him over he put petals to the metal and sped off down the street. At this point Dekalb police got involved in assisting with the investigation and promptly chased Bennett until he wrecked into an embankment near I-285. He was immediately taken into custody and remains in jail there.

He faces charges of theft by receiving stolen property, hit and run, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, driving while license suspended or revoked, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.

The danger doesn’t always have to come from the car already being stolen, it can happen in the act of stealing. One unlucky couple had to experience this firsthand. July 4 a man and a woman had stopped at a local shop, Zesto, on Piedmont road to grab some ice cream.


Zesto and the couple’s dog who was in the stolen car. Photo Credit: WSB-TV

They decided to leave their new puppy in the back seat, but sense it was so hot outside that day they decided to leave the A/C running while they ran inside for the cool dessert. “We thought she’d be fine, we’ll only be a minute,” the woman said.

Once at the counter they noticed someone was trying to use a screwdriver and shatter their windshield in broad daylight, bold choice young man. They quickly rushed out of the store and toward their car, the man throwing open the driver side and attempting to wrestle the young thief out, who had been circling the parking lot for a while.


Car thief breaking into the vehicle and the couple rushing to prevent this jacking. Photo Credit: WSB-TV

The woman dove in through the passenger side, and as she leaned across to deal with the threat, he took off down the street into oncoming traffic with her still inside fighting and yelling at him to stop.

“At first he said, ‘No, you get out of the car,’ and I was, like, ‘No you get out of the car.’ And I just started grabbing his collar and hitting him as hard as I could,” she said.

Even in the safety of your own car, you aren’t truly safe on the roads. The danger doesn’t even have to come from other vehicles, but the people themselves.

Not all high school students feel the danger present. Doris McBride, a Woodstock senior thinks “there’s a good chance someone who tries to steal my car couldn’t, because I drive a stick shift.”

A Woodstock detective, on Sept. 26, stopped a man for driving erratically when he learned just previously, he had threatened the life of another driver with a shotgun. Jacob Fendt, 26, was arrested with charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, driving under the influence, reckless driving, driving through a gore, disobedience to traffic signals and crossing a guard line with a weapon.

When pulled over police found a pistol version pump shotgun and an AR-style rifle, a glass pipe associated with drug abuse in his pockets, and two prescription bottles in the sit next to Fendt. One officer noted an “overwhelming” stench of alcohol.

this a man

Jacob Fendt, culprit to charges of traffic violations and aggravation on the road towards another driver. Photo Credit: Cherokee Sheriff’s Office

These drivers and thieves weren’t the brightest of minds or completely in control of themselves during the act. There are enough of these kinds of people out there that it isn’t a surprise the amount of auto crimes, and criminal activity in general that happens.

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