A New Port Richey woman was arrested on road rage charges.
By the cuts on her nose in her mugshot, you can tell that Bonnie N. Barkas had a rough morning.
The wild incident started on Tampa Road at East Lake Road in Oldsmar, and it ended with a violent confrontation at Mayfair Place in Palm Harbor.
Jill Atwood's eye is swollen and her face hurts.
"Yeah, a ghost fracture from in here to out here," said Atwood as she pointed to her face.
She got punched in the face while trying to do a good deed, investigators say. She saw Barkas assaulting Therese O'Neill and stepped in.
"I was on my way to work," said O'Neill.
But the vehicle in front of her stopped suddenly, forcing her to cut in front of Barkas' car.
"And my brakes aren't that great," she said, "so I swerved into her lane and she was angry I guess that I was cutting her off."
Investigators say Barkus chased O'Neill on Tampa Road and repeatedly rammed O'Neill's van.
"I saw another vehicle hit a van, and it kept hitting it in the back," Atwood said.
"I feel her ram into my car, and it starts going into the intersection," said O'Neill.
"And she kept pushing her, and pushing her, pushing her and then the light changed and then they all went," Atwood.
They said Barkas got out of the car, went right up to the window and started swinging.
"She got me right here, and then she snagged me," said O'Neill, pointing to the cut on her lip and on her face.
"And I was trying to tell the girl, ‘Don't hit her. Don't hit her because I'm your witness. I just saw her hit you, you know?'" Atwood said. "And she punches me."
"I tackled her," O'Neill said. "I had her kind of in a headlock and then she wiggled around and bit my hair."
O'Neill said Barkus even tried to call 911 to tell deputies she was the one being attacked.
"The suspect runs pretty much at the deputy, yelling out profanities and saying that she really is the one who's the victim in all of this," said Cecilia Barreda of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
"So she's freaking out, and the cop's like, ‘I'll Taser you.' She goes, ‘Taser me,'" said Atwood, gesturing wildly with her arms above her head.
Barkus is charged with aggravated battery and assault with a motor vehicle. Deputies said Barkus lost it inside the cruiser, kicking out the windows and hitting her head.
"There were a lot of people driving by or stopping to watch and then moving along, but nobody else stopped except for Jill," said O'Neill.
Atwood said despite getting hurt, she would pull over and do it all over again if she saw someone else in trouble.
She meets with a bone specialist Wednesday to figure out how to repair the damage done to her face. She plans to file charges against Barkas.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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