Trending Topics

Off-duty trooper keeps cool during armed road rage incident, leads to arrest of driver

The trooper was driving with his family when the suspect displayed a firearm; the trooper then reported the incident to Florida Highway Patrol


Florida Highway Patrol

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

LAKELAND, Fla. — A suspected case of road rage took an unexpected turn when the victim proved to be a cool-headed state trooper, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

It happened Sunday, Oct. 29, just before 4 p.m. on Polk Parkway in the Lakeland area, and the trooper was off duty and with his family, highway patrol said in a news release. Lakeland is about 35 miles northeast of Tampa.

“Caught in slow-moving traffic, a driver in a red Chevy pickup became agitated and began focusing his attention on the trooper,” highway patrol said.

“As traffic cleared, the suspect drove alongside the trooper’s vehicle, speeding up and slowing down, yelling and using hand gestures. The trooper ignored the suspect; however, the suspect slowed again and displayed a compact style firearm, eventually pointing the weapon at the trooper.”

The trooper, who was not identified, reported the encounter to Florida Highway Patrol and a search was launched.

Investigators say the vehicle was eventually found at the 32-year-old driver’s home in Auburndale, about 11 miles east of Lakeland. He was identified as Matthew Timothy Reiter.

Reiter was arrested and troopers “located five different firearms,” officials said. He is charged with “three counts each of unlawful display of a weapon and aggravated assault with a weapon,” officials said.

©2023 The Charlotte Observer. Visit
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“The surge of crime and violence that we are seeing in our streets is completely unacceptable,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “The City of Oakland is hard at work turning the tide”
“It was a chaotic scene,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said. “We applied all technology — that’s the robodog, our SWAT team, electronic, surveillance [and] drones”
“My deputy did absolutely nothing wrong…" Sheriff Billy Woods said. “This individual decided to do what she did and ended with a result of killing two innocent individuals”
The video collaboration sheds light on how firearms manufacturers like Savage have helped pave the way for the Pittman-Robertson Act to contribute to the work of wildlife agencies