NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An apparent road rage incident turned into a frightening physical altercation with a knife.
A 21-year-old Nashville man told News 2 he was picking up his brother at the Two Rivers Dog Park when suddenly an irate motorist pulled beside him, accused the 21-year-old of cutting him off, and then, things turned violent quickly.
The victim, Myles, prefers to use his first name only.
He showed News 2 the front rim of his vehicle, which was scraped after driving on a flat tire and driving over curbs.
“I was pushing it as fast as I could.”
According to the Hermitage man, the incident still weighs heavily on him.
“It was crazy. Every emotion went through my mind at once. Fear, then just wanting to get out of there.”
According to Myles, there were no cars around him when the man, identified as James Wilkerson, drove right up to him.
Andy Cordan: “Do you think you cut him off?”
Myles: “No, I had never seen this car before.”
Myles said the man began shouting at him angrily, accusing him of cutting him off.
“He jumps out, asks if I have a problem with him. I don’t say anything. Right, I didn’t engage him.”
According to Myles, the 41-year-old Wilkerson produced a six-inch hunting knife and violently stabbed his car’s driver-side tire.
Myles says he was shocked and drove away, circling back to get his 23-year-old brother who quickly got on the phone with 911.
Myles said Wilkerson followed them.
“I had to jump a curb to get him off me for a second to get my brother in the car, got on the main road, put on my flashers, and honked my horn a lot to let people know something crazy was going on.”
With his front tire rapidly losing air and his brother on the phone with Metro dispatch, Myles pulled into a MAPCO on McGavock Pike where Wilkerson approached them.
“Next thing I know, I am looking for him and he is beside my car, my brother with my back to him. He’s still yelling his crazy stuff, and next thing I know, he has his knife out again and he goes to slashing my brother. Yeah, it was that close, and my brother, it clipped his jacket but didn’t get him.”
Myles and his brother locked themselves inside the MAPCO bathroom where they say Wilkerson attempted to get them to exit.
“Two minutes later, he is knocking on the door saying he is a cop. A few minutes later the actual cops show up. Yes, I didn’t know who he was, never seen him before, but he had an episode I guess, and he chose my car, so.”
Myles says he is relieved that neither he nor his brother was injured in this harrowing ordeal.
“I am thinking that I am very fortunate.”
James Wilkerson is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism.
According to the Metro Nashville Jail website, Wilkerson’s bail is $26,000, but he is being held for mental health reasons.