Timothy Baroody admitted he was in a bad mood and was tired of cars passing his semi in a no passing zone.
The victims attempted to pass the semi a few times on Nov. 20, 2014, and Baroody blocked them with his vehicle before forcing theirs off the roadway. The victim gained control and entered the roadway, stopped the car and Baroody slammed into the back of the car, pushing it while one of the victims was still inside.
A jury found 58-year-old Baroody guilty Friday of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
While the weapon – an 80,000 pound 18-wheel tractor trailer – was somewhat unconventional, Assistant State Attorney Bonde Johnson argued that didn’t make it any more or less deadly.
In his opening statement, Johnson told jurors Baroody’s actions could be summed up with a simple phrase: road rage.
Baroody testified that the victim’s attempt to pass him made him angry because they had an opportunity to pass him in a passing zone but chose not to. When questioned by Johnson, Baroody admitted to taking matters into his own hands by repeatedly blocking them with his semi and then running them off the road.
“It was a dumb thing to do,” Baroody admitted from the stand Friday.
After running the car off the road, the victim pulled back into the right lane and stopped the car in front of the semi, where the driver exited the vehicle. Baroody hit their car and pushed it out of the way, causing the passenger to jump out while the vehicles were in motion.
“I wasn’t going to wait for them,” Baroody said in his 911 call, which was played for the jury in court.
He claimed he had no choice since tractor trailer drivers are taught not to back up on a highway. Baroody said this is because drivers have difficulty seeing what’s behind them and may hit an approaching vehicle.
“Didn’t you know that day with absolute certainty that you would hit a car if you went forward?” Johnson asked, adding that hitting a car was a mere possibility if Baroody had chosen to back up instead.
“Yes,” Baroody replied.
Jurors found him guilty after about an hour of deliberation. Baroody will be sentenced Oct. 24 by Judge Yancey.