Two fathers who got in what police say was a road-rage fight in Florida last fall exchanged gunfire and ended up shooting each other’s daughters.

Now, one of them is facing attempted murder charges while the other won’t have to spend another day in court over the skirmish.

William Hale, 36, of Douglas, Georgia, and Frank Allison, 44, of Callahan, Florida, were both driving home with their families on Oct. 8 after spending time in Jacksonville in northeastern Florida.

Both men have different stories about how the confrontation started but both agree that it was fueled by road rage, that they were brake-checking each other, driving too fast and that Allison’s wife flipped off the Hales, according to police records obtained by USA TODAY.

William Hale is pictured in a mug shot the day he was arrested in connected with the road rage fight.

William Hale is pictured in a mug shot the day he was arrested in connected with the road rage fight.

At some point, Allison, his family members and an independent witness told police that Hale became the aggressor, trying to run Allison off the road, chasing him down and throwing a water bottle into his driver’s side window.

That’s when Allison grabbed his gun and fired, hitting Hale’s 5-year-old daughter in the lower leg. Allison later told police he was aiming at the lower rear truck bed.

“After he shot, my daughter is screaming,” Hale told police. “It was an instant reaction.”

So Hale grabbed his own gun from his center console and emptied the Glock 43, firing seven to eight rounds at Williams’ car, Hale told police.

One of the bullets hit Williams’ 14-year-old daughter in the back.

“It hurts!” Williams’ daughter yelled on body camera footage of the incident.

“I don’t want to die,” Hale’s 5-year-old can be heard saying on a 911 call, according to WJXT-TV.

Both girls were treated for their injuries later at local hospitals and survived.

Frank Allison is pictured in a mug shot after he was arrested in connected to the road rage fight.

Frank Allison is pictured in a mug shot after he was arrested in connected to the road rage fight.

Who gets charged?

At the time of the melee, police arrested both men on attempted murder charges, saying they “intentionally committed an act” that could have killed the girls.

“The act was imminently dangerous and demonstrated a depraved mind without regard for human life,” police wrote.

That was October. Now, Hale is the only man facing charges.

The Nassau County State’s Attorney’s Office charged him on March 30 with three counts of second-degree attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and one count of maliciously throwing a deadly missile.

That last charge stems from Hale allegedly throwing a water bottle into Allison’s car.

Allison told police that though the water bottle did not hurt him or cause him to lose control of the vehicle, it “stunned me so bad I grabbed my pistol,” and that he fired at Hale’s car to “get out of the whole situation.”

Allison is protected from being charged himself under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, according to the Nassau County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“Florida courts have held that the throwing of a water bottle or similar object could form the basis of a forcible felony,” according to a disposition statement written by Assistant State Attorney Christopher Roth Huband on March 31.

“The water bottle had liquid in it, and (Hale) threw it with malicious intent, clearly intending for it to enter the Allisons’ vehicle and possibly strike one of the occupants,” Huband wrote. “As such, the water bottle would qualify as a deadly missile.”

This screenshot shows some of the conclusions by the Nassau County State's Attorney's Office about why Frank Allison shouldn't be charged.

This screenshot shows some of the conclusions by the Nassau County State’s Attorney’s Office about why Frank Allison shouldn’t be charged.

Huband goes on to say that Hale’s “aggressive driving pattern and the throwing of a water bottle placed the Allisons in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm and constitute the commission of forcible felonies.”

“William Hale’s actions – both independently and collectively – justify Frank Allison’s use of deadly force against William Hale,” Huband wrote.

It’s unclear whether Hale has obtained an attorney.

‘Two stupid grown men’

Back in October, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper told WJXT-TV in Jacksonville that there very nearly were “two dead kids because of two stupid grown men.”

“What is scarier than one crazy driver with a gun, than two crazy drivers with a gun?” Leeper said. “Thankfully, no one was killed in this incident, but it could have easily turned out that way because two people were acting stupid and let their tempers get the best of them.”

He said drivers who find themselves in a similar situation should have the wherewithal to stand down.

“Someone who’s driving aggressively around you, let him go,” Leeper said. “Slow down. Go the other direction. Get the vehicle description if you can and call police.”

More coverage from USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2 dads exchanged gunfire in Florida road rage fight; daughters shot



Source link