Driver Charged in Car Vs. Jogger Road Rage Case

A 65-year-old man has been charged in an unusual road rage case: Police say the victim wasn't driving another car -- he was a jogger.

Arlington County Police say the victim, a 28-year-old man, was jogging across 10th Street N. at Barton Street with the light Saturday morning when a BMW sedan almost hit him. The driver slammed on the brakes and stopped inches from the jogger, police said.

"As a reaction this jogger had a verbal exchange toward the driver," said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. "The driver was not happy."

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That's when the road rage kicked in, police said. The driver, Geoffrey Fisher, reacted by driving forward toward the jogger, police said. The jogger felt the only way he could avoid being hit was to jump onto the hood of the car.

"He's carried 20-30 feet, at which point the driver slams on the brakes to get him off the vehicle," Sternbeck said.

Luckily, the jogger wasn't injured. Police said Fisher drove off, but a witness in a car behind him got the license plate number.

Police tracked down Fisher at his Arlington home just minutes away.

Fisher is charged with attempted unlawful wounding. He was released from jail after posting $5,000 bond. Fisher and his attorney declined to comment when contacted by phone.

Others who walk and run in the area of the alleged road rage incident were surprised to hear of the confrontation.

"It's absolutely against human nature to be cruel, especially a driver against a jogger," Erin Laney said. "There's no reason that should ever happen."

At a Pacers running store nearby, tales of close calls between joggers and cars aren't unusual.

When leading running groups, staff members give this piece of advice: "Never ever assume the cars see you," said Joanne Russo, who runs 60 miles a week on D.C. streets. "You always want to be proactive as well. If it means making eye contact with the driver, that can be a really smart thing to do."

She said it also means making sure you are visible by wearing bright clothing. Lights that attach to a waistband or shoe heel can help, too.

Another rule for her: Even if a driver is in the wrong, let the anger go.

"You're in the middle of your run and in your zone and you have the right of way," she said. "You just want to keep going, and it's really annoying when a big car comes out of nowhere and disrupts your run. So people get angry about that and the worst thing to do in the world is challenge the car. In that battle you're not going to win."

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