Richmond police are investigating a videotaped incident in downtown where one man got out of his car and another driver then pulled out a gun Tuesday evening.
Bart Surroz of Wisconsin said that about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday a man in a red Jeep was driving recklessly behind him on Route 12 and began honking his horn at him.
Surroz said he was confused as to why he was being honked at, so he stopped his car near the intersection of Route 12 and Broadway Road and got out to see if anything was wrong with his car, or with the man driving the Jeep.
Surroz, who videotaped some of the incident and shared it on Facebook, said the driver of the Jeep took out a handgun and aimed it at him before speeding off. Surroz posted his video, along with an explanation, and it had been shared more than 1,000 times by Wednesday evening.
“Get in your car,” the driver yelled at Surroz as he approached the Jeep while recording.
“Hang on, I gotta get this license plate,” Surroz responded as he walked to the back of the Jeep.
“Get in your car,” the Jeep driver yelled again, according to Surroz’s video.
Surroz told the Northwest Herald on Wednesday that he asked the man what was wrong and if he was honking at him.
“I have no idea at this point,” Surroz said. “For him being a car-length behind me and no one in between us at this point, I don’t know if there’s an issue. There’s no anger on my part. I tap on my chest, as you’ll see in his video.
“I’m wondering what’s going on. You can see the confusion in my face. I have no idea. That’s when he pulled the gun and pointed it through his windshield at me. When I saw him point the gun, I thought, ‘OK, I see how we’re doing this.’ I point at him and I pull my camera out of my chest pocket, out of my breast pocket. I just start to record at that point. That’s when my video comes into play. I start walking towards the vehicle. I don’t threaten him. You can tell by my camera. You can tell by his camera. There’s no threats from me to him.”
Surroz said he wanted to get a picture of the man’s license plate because he didn’t have one in the front of his Jeep. Surroz’s video shows him walking to the back of the Jeep and getting the plate on camera.
The Jeep then speeds away.
“I wasn’t grown to be scared around guns,” Surroz said. “His fingers [were] on the outside of the trigger. ... He’s just trying to be a bully.”
The man in the Jeep posted a dash-cam video from his perspective on Facebook, Surroz said. That video shows Surroz exiting his vehicle and pointing to himself. He then takes out his phone and walks toward the Jeep.
Richmond police disregarded the incident after Surroz reported it and said he shouldn’t have exited the vehicle, Surroz said.
“The officer said, ‘We know him as a firefighter,’ or ‘He works with the fire department,’ something to that effect,” Surroz said. “They go over there and talk with him and get his dash cam and view his dash cam. They say that the guy felt threatened for his life and that he was well within his rights to pull that gun. I was no threat. ... I was in no hurry to rush him. I didn’t jump out of the car and charge him. I lean out, I ask him. You can see my face from his dash cam that I’m confused as to what’s going on.”
Surroz said he’s happy the incident has started a dialogue about road rage and concealed carry permits.
“We can’t let guys just wave guns because they have the right to do so,” he said.
Richmond police Sgt. Jennifer Fillicaro said Wednesday that the incident was under investigation.
“We’ve been receiving calls all morning. We’re working hard to be able to get information out to the public,” Fillicaro said.
Fillicaro said she’s seen Surroz’s video and the McHenry State’s Attorney’s Office is looking into the matter.
The driver of the Jeep could not be reached for comment.