'I should have hit her harder': Elderly man charged in road rage incident

An elderly man has been charged in a violent road rage attack on a woman in Tacoma.

William Zesbaugh, 71, is being held on $10,000 bail for second-degree assault and malicious harassment. According to prosecutors, Zesbaugh became upset when a female driver cut him off in traffic around noon on Monday.

"He pulled behind the victim's vehicle, following closely and honking his horn," the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. "The victim stopped at a sign and the defendant's car collided into the back of her vehicle."

When the victim approached Zesbaugh's vehicle to ask for his insurance information, prosecutors say he retrieved a club-like steering wheel lock from his trunk and struck her twice in the arm as she tried to block the assault.

"The defendant told the victim and her passenger, 'I can tell you're lesbians. I should beat the crap out of you,'" according to prosecutors. "He then fled the scene, stating, 'I'm gonna get you for this' as he passed the victim's vehicle."

Police apprehended Zesbaugh a short distance away, where he allegedly told officers, "I should have hit her a lot harder if I'm going to get in trouble for it."

The victim was treated at a nearby hospital for several deep lacerations to her forearm.


Brandi Kruse, KIRO Radio Reporter
Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.
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