(WSVN) - We’ve all seen aggressive drivers on South Florida streets, but one woman has such a terrifying tale of road rage, Broward Sheriff’s Office spent weeks tracking down the other driver. 7’s Kevin Ozebek investigates.
911 Operator: “Stay on the line, stay on the line, stay on the line.”
This is the first time Katie Lester is hearing the 911 call. These blood-curdling screams came from her and her 12- and four-year-old daughters.
Katie Lester, road rage victim: “At that point, he was hitting our car, trying to break the window that my 12-year-old was sitting behind.”
It all started on the evening of February 19, as Katie drove her husband and kids down a Dania Beach street.
But before she made it home, she saw a man in a car veer out of his lane and into an oncoming truck.
Katie Lester: “The man in the vehicle sideswiped the utility truck and then just kept driving.”
Her husband in the passenger’s seat called 911.
Caller: “We drove up to get the guy’s plate number and call you.”
At first, all was calm as her husband spoke to 911.
Katie saw the driver park at Frost Park. She parked at the opposite end of the lot and thought it was a safe spot to wait for deputies.
Katie Lester: “He started to get out of the car, had a pipe, or bat, or something with him.”
Katie drove off. The man hopped back in his car.
Katie Lester: “At that point, he started chasing us.”
Caller: “He’s trying to run us off the road.
911 Operator: “OK, I am going to stay on the line with you.”
Caller: “We’re about to get hit. This guy is going to hit us.”
He rammed Katie’s car several times. The bumper on her Nissan soon fell off.
Caller: “Now we are heading westbound in front of Dania Beach Casino. Please, please get somebody to us. My kids are freaking out, got two kids in the car.”
As the chase moved to Northeast Second Street, it turned even more terrifying.
Katie Lester: “He came racing up around us. I hit the breaks and went to make a U-turn.”
But Katie lost control and slammed into a fence.
Katie Lester: “I still see us going under that fence, because that is where it really clicked, ‘I am going to die. My kids are going to die.'”
The fence clawed her hood. She and her family were stuck.
Katie Lester: “So at that point, he saw me trying to reverse and go forward to get out from underneath the fence, and that’s when he got out with his pipe again.”
Katie says he started bashing her car, leaving dents.
At this point in the 911 call, all you hear is screaming.
911 Operator: “Sir, what happened? What happened?”
Katie Lester: “He looked my kid in the eyes, just like I’m looking you in the eyes, and he beat the window that she was sitting behind with no issues.”
Katie’s tire soon got traction from a rock, and she was able to speed off.
The man followed again, but moments later he finally backed off.
Capt. John Brown, Broward Sheriff’s Office: “This guy targeted somebody who was trying to do the right thing.”
Capt. John Brown leads the BSO team that has now cracked this case.
Earlier this month, they identified the driver as Tim Ray Geraci.
Capt. John Brown: “He changed his appearance. He changed his location. Stopped driving the vehicle. He made a lot of effort to, you know, prevent detection.”
He now faces a slew of charges, including aggravated assault.
Judge: “You’re not to have any contact with the alleged victims in this case.”
Katie Lester: “It was a big relief knowing that he was arrested, and it feels horrible to wear a smile right now, but the worst part of our nightmare is over.”
But Katie says she’ll still never forget this one night of horror as she was heading home.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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