Sparta road rage results in charges

Law & Order. After initially telling police that a teen had been driving recklessly, an Augusta man now faces charges including Aggravated Assault, False Reports to Law Enforcement, and Endangering a Juvenile.

24 Oct 2019 | 04:42

    An Augusta man who told police that a 17-year-old was driving recklessly, ended up being arrested himself, and now faces charges including; Aggravated Assault, Endangering a Juvenile, and False Reports to Law Enforcement, Sparta police stated.

    Police say that at about 5: 15 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2019, they reported to the scene of an accident where a 17-year-old driver told police that the driver of a tan Jeep nearly struck the teen's while attempting to pass the teen by crossing over the double yellow lines on Sussex Mills Road. The driver of the Jeep, who left the scene, was later identified as Phil Spagnola of Augusta, police said.

    The juvenile told police he'd given the finger to the Jeep driver after being cut off by the Jeep, and the gesture had apparently enraged the Jeep's driver, resulting in the teen being punched by the driver.

    Sparta Police state that a witness told police he saw the Jeep's driver "enter Lambert Drive on the wrong side of the road, and cut in front of the juvenile's vehicle, causing it to strike the rear of Mr. Spanola's Jeep. The witness recounted seeing Mr. Spagnola exit his jeep and approach the juvenile’s vehicle. He then punched the juvenile several times through the open driver’s side window. Mr. Spagnola returned to his Jeep and left the scene."

    On Oct. 8, Spagnola filed criminal and motor vehicle complaints of Reckless Driving, Tailgating and Assault by Auto against the teen at the Sparta Headquarters, police said.

    As a result of viewing video, and speaking with witnesses, Sparta Police charged Spagnola with Endangering a Juvenile, Aggravated Assault, False Reports to Law Enforcement, Unsworn Falsification and False Swearing.

    Police say Spagnola responded to Headquarters on Oct. 18, where he was fingerprinted, photographed and where he received the criminal complaints against him. Spagnola was advised of a mandatory court appearance and then released.