Howard Carl Wilson, 68, is charged with assault. Jail booking photo
Brittani Thomas says she's not sure if she'll file charges against Wilson.
WINTER HAVEN, FL (WFLA) -
A Winter Haven man is charged with assault after cell
phone video showed him throwing a punch at a woman in a McDonald's
Winter Haven Police say that Howard Carl Wilson, 68,
was in the drive-thru lane of the McDonald's at 245 6th St. N.W. in
Winter Haven at about 11:20 p.m. on March 29.
pulled in front of Wilson's van, which police say did not sit well with
him. Witnesses reported hearing Wilson yelling profanities and racial
slurs through his window toward the other vehicle.
After a few
moments, Wilson exited his van and approached the passenger side of the
vehicle where victim Brittani Thomas was sitting.
police, Thomas opened her door and asked Wilson what his problem was. As
the encounter continued for almost two minutes, Thomas is seen in the
video attempting to close the door multiple times.
held the door open which prevented Thomas from closing it while he
continued yelling. According to police, just as the other vehicles in
line ahead began to move forward, Wilson reached in the vehicle and
punched Thomas in the face. Wilson then went back to his van, got in and
Officers eventually located him at his home where he
admitted to being at McDonald's on that evening, but said he was only at
the passenger door of the vehicle for no more than 15 seconds. He told
officers that he was angry because the other vehicle cut him off and he
almost hit it.
However, police say that after seeing the video,
Wilson realized the situation was much more than he recalled. Wilson
told the officers, "It was like a road rage incident."
Wilson was charged with simple battery and booked into the Polk County Jail where he has since bonded out.
News Channel 8 spoke with victim Brittani Thomas. She said that when Wilson hit her, she chose not to hit back.
"I saw he was an old man and I wasn't going to hit an old man," Thomas said.
Thomas said her injuries were minor and she's not sure if she's going to press charges against Wilson.
Thomas also said she is thankful for witness Tammy Roman of Winter Haven, who recorded the incident on camera.
was the second cell phone video that has surfaced in less than a week
that shows a confrontation between people in vehicles.
Wednesday, a woman posted cell phone video to YouTube that showed the
driver of a truck tailgating her in Tampa, then pulling up beside her
and passing her while giving her the finger. The video then shows the
truck then spinning out of control and crashing. Watch the video.