Assault charge expected in N.B. road rage encounter, RCMP say
Mohammed Benyoussef is seen being grabbed while sitting in driver's seat
A man is expected to face an assault charge in connection with a case of road rage in the Moncton area on Sunday, RCMP say.
RCMP Cpl. Marc Langis said "an older" man was arrested and is expected to appear in court at a later date to face the charge.
Langis would not provide any more details, and said the assault charge was the only one expected to be laid.
Langis said the man was released on conditions while RCMP continue to investigate. Once that is complete, the Crown prosecution will decide whether he'll be charged.
Mohammed Benyoussef was on the receiving end of the alleged attack, which was caught on video, and which he said left him and his family physically and emotionally shaken.
WATCH | Family films the confrontation (WARNING: offensive language):
Benyoussef said he was driving on Ammon Road, headed to Moncton at about 2 p.m. AT, with his wife and four children in their minivan, when a pickup truck abruptly pulled in front of him from an adjacent driveway.
Benyoussef said he passed the truck in the oncoming lane to avoid slamming on his brakes.
Shortly after, the driver of the pickup truck sped up to the minivan, overtook it and then slammed on his brakes, bringing both of the vehicles to a stop, he said.
At that point, Benyoussef said he turned to his 13-year-old daughter in the passenger seat and told her he had to start recording the scene with his cellphone's camera because "this is something crazy."
"The guy was coming out of his truck and coming toward me and saying those insults, bad words, and insulting me like as a stranger because I'm not originally from here," said Benyoussef, who moved to Moncton in 2004.
The video, which was mostly recorded by Benyoussef's daughter from the passenger seat, shows a man approach Benyoussef as he sat in the driver's seat.
The man can be heard saying "foreign c--k s---er" before reaching through the driver's window and grabbing Benyoussef, leading to a struggle between the two.
Benyoussef can be heard repeatedly asking the man to leave him alone, while Benyoussef's children cry in the background.
Meanwhile, Benyoussef's wife can be heard on the phone with 911.
After about a minute and a half, the man lets go of Benyoussef, but before walking back to his truck, appears to try to flick blood toward Benyoussef from what looks like an open wound on his forearm.
Benyoussef said the man told him he was upset because Benyoussef had crossed a solid line in the road when he overtook his pickup truck.
However, Benyoussef said he thinks the man's reaction was driven by more than that.
"Him telling me, 'Go back to your country' ... tells me that it's more than that," said Benyoussef, who is Muslim. "Especially him seeing my daughter beside me with a scarf — the religious scarf that means automatic, automatically it tells him that we are not from here."
In light of the arrest and pending charges, Benyoussef said he's satisfied with how police have handled the incident so far.
"I think there is justice, to be honest," Benyoussef said.
"At least they are... pressing charges and it's up to the judge to decide of course [if he is guilty] but I see that it is going in the right way.