Firefighter, Son Charged in Deadly Road Rage Beating

Men were fighting over who had the right of way -- car or pedestrian, police say

A Philadelphia firefighter and his son have been charged for allegedly beating a man over who had the right of way.

Gerard M. Shaffer, 47, and his 21-year-old son Gerard rolled up to the intersection of Knights and Fairdale Roads around 7:30 p.m. on April 8 when they met Mark Wallace, police said.

Wallace, 54, was walking through the crosswalk when the Shaffer's car came up to the intersection.

The men then began fighting over whether the pedestrian or the car has the right to go first, police said.

The verbal argument eventually grew into a physical altercation with the Shaffers allegedly brutally beating the man.

"This person…was beaten, slammed onto the ground and punched and kicked numerous times," Philadelphia Police Lt. Frank Vanore said Tuesday.

Wallace was rushed to Aria Hospital -- Torresdale in critical condition and was later transferred to Jefferson University Hospital.

The severe beating left him in a coma for 13 days. A portion of the man's skull was removed to alleviate brain swelling and he also suffered a broken nose and clavicle.

Wallace's family removed him from life support Tuesday. "I'm really gonna miss him and I just home that these people really get what they deserve," Wallace's sister Nancy Kolenkiewicz said.

Shaffer, Sr., a 23-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department, was a member of Ladder 31. He was off-duty at the time of the alleged incident.

Both men are charged with several counts including aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless assault and conspiracy. They are being held on $250,000 bail.

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