A civilian employee at MacDill Air Force Base involved with terrorism intelligence has been charged nine times after a road rage incident.
Andre Rivera faces weapons, assault and child neglect charges after Tampa police say he beat up a man on Kennedy Blvd., threatened to shoot five other people, and waved his gun out of his window as he drove from Armenia to Ybor City.
We spoke to a man named Jim who police say was attacked by Rivera with pepper spray and steel-toed boots.
Jim, who did not want his last name used, says he tried to intervene during the road rage incident.
"We could see both his hands, I looked at my friends and said, 'that's a real gun!'"
He was selling newspapers and saw Rivera and a woman out of their cars and yelling at each other.
"I said, 'Man, you need to get in your car and get out of here,’ and he goes, ‘I'll F-in shoot you too,’ and I hit him in the face."
Jim knocked the gun away, and ran away after he was blinded by the pepper spray.
"I stopped him from doing something that he would have regretted his entire life," he says.
Rivera drove off, only to be stopped after 911 callers reported a man waving a gun out of his window in downtown Tampa and Channelside.
A 16-year-old relative in the car showed police cell phone video of Rivera, recorded as police were pulling up, telling the youngster to lie about what happened.
Rivera said the only reason he didn't kill Jim was because the teen told him to stop.
Rivera told police his actions were self-defense.
But Jim has no doubt Rivera was the aggressor, and insists he's no hero.
"It's human nature. It's what we're supposed to do. Help each other, protect each other."
MacDill Air Force Base has been notified of the incident.
Rivera is being held on nearly $120,000 bond.
Fox 13 was not immediately able to reach representatives at MacDill AFB.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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