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29 November 2011 at 11:12 - Posted by Anonymous

Motorist’s face slashed in road rage


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A mistake in traffic has left Liam physically and emotionally scarred after an enraged driver forced him off the road and cut his face in Parkhurst. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

A mistake in traffic has left a young Joburg man scarred physically and emotionally after an enraged driver forced him off the road and cut his face.

Liam, who has asked that his last name be withheld as he fears the man who attacked him might trace him, spent the weekend at Netcare Milpark Hospital undergoing plastic surgery to repair cuts he sustained during the road rage incident on Friday afternoon.
 
Liam was travelling from Greenside after picking up his boss’s car, just after 6pm, when he came to a traffic circle on his way to Parkhurst. After failing to turn on his indicator as he turned out of the circle, he noticed a white BMW X5 behind him. The driver was hooting and mouthing something that Liam presumed were obscenities directed at him.
 
He ignored the man. But as he came closer to Parkhurst, he noticed that the X5 had followed him.
 
As Liam approached the intersection of Cambridge and Bedford avenues in Parkhurst, the man tried to force him off the road, coming past him on his right side and bumping the front driver’s side of the car.
 
Liam said he had stopped a short distance ahead of his pursuer.
 
Before he got out of his car, Liam said he’d noticed the man had already left his X5, had adopted an aggressive stance and appeared to be enraged.
 
“I should have reversed, or driven away or something, but I thought I could talk to him – calm him down,” said Liam.
 
Before the now-upset Liam could get out a full question, the man had begun running towards him.
 
“Listen, man, I don’t want to fight,” he told his assailant, just moments before the man’s fist knocked the right side of his face.
 
“I expected him to say something… I was expecting him to swear at me at least,” said Liam. “But it looked like he just wanted to fight.”
 
The punch coming from the left shocked Liam, who was the far taller man at 1.9m, and sent him into a rage of his own. He hit back, knocking the older man square in the face.
 
Liam said he had stepped back, telling the man again he didn’t want to fight.
 
“He just looked so angry to have been hit. It was then that he reached into his left pocket,” said Liam.
 
The man removed what appeared to be some sort of blade, possibly a scalpel, and ran towards him, aiming for his head, said Liam. One or two slices later, the younger man said he felt no pain, just the wetness as the blood began pouring from his face.
 
Seconds later, he saw his attacker’s face change as he registered what he’d done. He sped off in his X5 and left Liam calling for help.
 
At Milpark Hospital, doctors fought to stop the heavy bleeding more than an hour after the attack.
 
Liam spent the weekend at the hospital, returning home on Sunday evening. A plastic surgeon was brought in to help suture the deep slashes to his lip, reconstruct his nose and help prevent major scarring from the lengthy cut on his right cheek.
 
“It just felt so unnecessary, and I don’t know why it ended up so badly,” said Liam, who was still in pain.
 
The attack comes three months after lawyer Kim McCusker was dragged almost 1km after an altercation involving a taxi driver and her fiancé.
 
The 26-year-old woman spent two-and-a-half months in intensive care and was released into her family’s care because her mother is a nurse.
 
McCusker is still recovering from numerous skin grafts and learning to walk without crutches or braces.
 
A case was opened on Monday at the Parkview police station in connection with the incident in which Liam’s face was slashed.
 
Liam said he remembered the car’s registration, but missed the last number of the man’s car licence plate.
 
Anyone with any information on a white, silver-haired man of about 50, who drives a white BMW X5 that has the registration plate WK 47... GP, should contact the Parkview police station at 011 486 5000 or shain.germaner@inl.co.za - The Star
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