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Road rager allegedly brandishes baton, asks motorist 'you ready for this, bro?'

A Woodbury man made his first court appearance this month on allegations that he used a baton to bash a newspaper delivery driver's car during a road rage incident.

The suspect, 20-year-old Sean Winson Fitzpatrick, was charged with one count of terroristic threats - a felony - and one count of fourth-degree property damage.

According to a criminal complaint, Fitzpatrick was arrested at his home on Nov. 11, 2012, after a newspaper delivery driver reported being the victim of a road rage attack near Eagle View Boulevard and Settlers Ridge Drive.

The complaint states that at about 5 a.m. that day, the delivery driver was driving slowly down a street in order to spot addresses when a vehicle approached his from behind and began to tailgate him. The vehicle got so close the delivery driver feared it was going to hit his vehicle.

The delivery driver waved his arm out of his window in an attempt to signal that the pursuing vehicle should drive around him. The trailing vehicle sped up, got in front of the delivery driver, then stopped diagonally in the middle of the road, the complaint states.

According to the charges, the driver of the offending vehicle - later identified as Fitzpatrick - got out and approached his vehicle. After the man told Fitzpatrick he was delivering newspapers, Fitzpatrick allegedly pulled out a baton and in an aggressive manner said, "Are you ready for this, bro," the complaint states.

Afraid he was about to be assaulted, the delivery driver began driving away, while Fitzpatrick allegedly smacked the vehicle several times with the baton.

Police, who received the assailant's license plate information, went to Fitzpatrick's residence, where he allegedly told officers "I know why you're here. It's for the incident with the other driver, isn't it?"

Fitzpatrick, who the complaint states was "eager" to talk about the incident with police, showed officers his vehicle - the license plates of which matched the description given by the alleged victim - and a 20- to 30-inch long baton that police said was similar to a Billy club.

Officers also detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Fitzpatrick. A preliminary breath test indicated Fitzpatrick had a 0.19 blood-alcohol content, according to the complaint.

Fitzpatrick, who was released on his own recognizance at a Feb. 6 court hearing, returns to court on May 1.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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