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Motorcyclist charged in road rage incident

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A man operating a motorcycle is facing multiple charges after he allegedly fired his gun five times during a road rage incident in Spring Hill.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Spokesperson Denise Moloney said that at around 12:40 p.m., on Jan. 23, a deputy responded to a call about a traffic accident on Mariner Boulevard and Frontage Road near Cortez Boulevard in Spring Hill.

At the scene, the deputy was told by a bystander that a road rage incident involving two men was taking place in the parking lot nearby.

As the deputy approached the alleged site of the road rage incident, he saw and heard a man operating a motorcycle fire rounds from a handgun. The man then fled the area at a high rate of speed.

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No injuries were reported as a result of the shooting.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the victim of the road rage incident and his passenger were driving on the frontage road behind the Ruby Tuesday Restaurant in Spring Hill when a motorcycle “recklessly” passed their vehicle. The driver and the operator of the motorcycle engaged in an exchange during which the man operating the motorcycle approached the victim’s vehicle, began punching the hood, and “head butting” the vehicle while wearing his helmet. He then allegedly lacerated his hand when he broke a side-view mirror.

As the verbal altercation continued, the driver exited his vehicle, and the two men told each other that they were each carrying a firearm.

When the victim, who had a Florida Concealed Weapons license, produced his firearm, the suspect retreated. In response, the victim holstered his weapon. But as the victim returned to his vehicle, his passenger, who remained inside, saw the motorcyclist brandish his firearm.

As that man got back on his motorcycle and drove away, he allegedly fired five rounds at the victim’s vehicle.

The deputy at the traffic crash scene just a few hundred feet away heard the gunfire. He located the motorcyclist and tried to stop him, but he fled. In response, HCSO deputies, personnel from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), and the HCSO Aviation Unit pursued him.

The motorcyclist, later identified as 19-year-old Andrew James Martin, drove into an open garage at 133 Arcadia Ave. in Spring Hill and shut the door.

After a brief standoff, the motorcyclist exited the residence and surrendered to deputies, but he allegedly refused to talk to them about the incident.

Martin was arrested and booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of firing a missile into a motor vehicle, building, or aircraft, firing a weapon in a public or residential property, and fleeing the police and eluding arrest.

He is being held on bond.

The investigation into the incident continues.

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