MAHWAH, N.J. – A 77-year-old driver became a madman, charging after an Upper Saddle River motorist with a baseball bat and then chasing him through Mahwah streets before ramming his car into his, authorities said.
David Ruffman was headed north on East Crescent Avenue in Upper Saddle River around 3 p.m. Thursday when, he told police, the other driver merged from Lake Street and cut him off, Police Chief James N. Batelli said.
Ruffman hit the gas, passed the Upper Saddle River motorist’s car, then stopped in the middle of the street, Batelli said.
The two were out of their cars arguing when Ruffman suddenly returned to his and retrieved a baseball bat from the trunk, the chief said.
“The other driver became fearful, returned to his vehicle and attempted to flee the area,” Batelli said.
In doing so, his car hit the side of Ruffman’s, knocking him down, he said.
Ruffman jumped back in his car and chased the other vehicle through several Mahwah streets, “eventually cutting him off, crashing into his vehicle and forcing him onto the side of the road near the intersection of Airmont Avenue and Bellgrove Drive,” the chief said.
Ruffman again got out, baseball bat in hand.
“Fearing for his life the other driver hit Ruffman and forcefully threw him to the ground,” Batelli said.
It was at that point that Mahwah police arrived and separated the two, he said.
Ruffman had minor injuries to his foot and hand but refused medical attention, the chief said. The other driver wasn’t seriously injured, he said.
Ruffman was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault and reckless driving.
He was released pending a court hearing.
Meanwhile, Upper Saddle River police were investigating the events in their jurisdiction that ignited the incident.
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