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The Villages
Saturday, December 9, 2023

Villager enrolls in anger manager to duck prosecution in road rage arrest

James Edward Vitale 2
James Edward Vitale

A Villager will escape prosecution in a road rage altercation after completing an anger management class.

James Edward Vitale, 76, of the Village of Pine Ridge, has written a letter of apology and completed anger management, prompting an announcement from the prosecutor’s office that he will not be prosecuted on a charge of battery.

Vitale was arrested June 27 after turning himself in after he became aware he was being sought in the incident which had occurred four days earlier.

Vitale had been at the wheel of a maroon Dodge Durango when he cut in front of another motorist at Morse Boulevard and County Road 466. The other driver, who had to slam on his brakes, later admitted to deputies that he had displayed his middle finger to Vitale, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. The other driver went on to park in front of China Gourmet at Colony Plaza while he went into the nearby Cal’s Barbershop to inquire about a haircut.

Vitale pulled up behind the other man’s vehicle. That man’s wife was seated in the passenger seat. Vitale got into a “verbal altercation” with the other man’s wife, prompting her to get out of the vehicle and begin taking pictures of Vitale, who got out of his vehicle. The other man exited Cal’s Barbershop and also began arguing with Vitale, who asked the other man why he had, “Chucked him the finger.” The other man called Vitale a vulgar name, prompting Vitale to chest bump the other man, knocking him back a few steps.

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