Drive thru assault caught on camera

WINTER HAVEN, Florida (WFLA) – A Winter Haven, Florida man is charged with assault after cell phone video showed him throwing a punch at a woman in a McDonald’s drive-thru.

Winter Haven Police say that Howard Carl Wilson, 68, was in the drive-thru lane of a McDonald’s in Winter Haven at about 11:20 p.m. on March 29.

Another vehicle pulled in front of Wilson’s van, which police say did not sit well with him.

Witnesses reported hearing Wilson yelling profanities and racial slurs through his window toward the other vehicle.

After a few moments, Wilson exited his van and approached the passenger side of the vehicle where victim Brittani Thomas was sitting.

According to police, Thomas opened her door and asked Wilson what his problem was. As the encounter continued for almost two minutes, Thomas is seen in the video attempting to close the door multiple times.

Wilson also held the door open which prevented Thomas from closing it while he continued yelling. According to police, just as the other vehicles in line ahead began to move forward, Wilson reached in the vehicle and punched Thomas in the face. Wilson then went back to his van, got in and drove off.

Officers eventually located him at his home where he admitted to being at McDonald’s on that evening, but said he was only at the passenger door of the vehicle for no more than 15 seconds. He told officers that he was angry because the other vehicle cut him off and he almost hit it.

However, police say that after seeing the video, Wilson realized the situation was much more than he recalled. Wilson told the officers, “It was like a road rage incident.”

Wilson was charged with simple battery and booked into the Polk County Jail where he has since bonded out.

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