SAN ANTONIO – The coronavirus pandemic, along with its mask mandates and quarantines, may be taking a toll on San Antonio drivers.
Police recently have labeled what appears to be a growing number of clashes on the road as road rage cases.
In some cases, those clashes have had deadly results.
“We’re just a big ball of frustration right now,” said Officer Alisia Pruneda, a public information officer for SAPD.
Pruneda said the police department does not keep numbers specifically for road rage incidents.
However, she did acknowledge there have been more cases making headlines involving unnecessarily heated situations behind the wheel.
“I have a strong belief, as do many officers, that it’s not in any way a person’s intent to pull into traffic, cutting someone off,” Pruneda said.
Still, police say that is what led to a shooting on the South Side early Tuesday morning.
Police said a pickup driver told them he accidentally cut off a motorcyclist when he pulled onto SW Military near Pleasanton Road around 1 a.m.
“At some point, that motorcycle driver pulled up beside them and fired several rounds,” Pruneda said.
Officers later found the truck nearby, in the 300 block of Boswell.
They say the passenger had been grazed in the ear by a bullet. She was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The truck driver was hit in the leg by debris.
Police are still looking for the motorcyclist in that case.
A suspected road rage shooting July 1 ended with the death of 22-year-old Jaylin Warren, a passenger in a car on Interstate 10 near E. Commerce.
Three weeks ago, Frederick Nesloney, 42, was shot dead as he drove through town along Loop 1604 near Bulverde Road.
His truck, with a trailer attached, then hit a police car that was blocking off a construction area.
Two other cases in June left a driver on the Northwest Side grazed by a bullet, and a motorcyclist injured after he was run off the road near downtown.
Pruneda said a lot of these types of conflicts can be avoided if drivers plan ahead and take their time on the road.
“That’s the bigger thing, people get in such a rush,” she said. “And then the other thing is we’re so distracted in our vehicles.”
She said instead, drivers should keep their eyes open and be sure to report any drivers who are causing problems.