Area police have responded to a few incidents this year where enraged motorists have pointed guns at other drivers, although such occurrences are still rare in Lake County.
Two of the three incidents reported earlier this summer have happened in Buffalo Grove, where police are reminding motorists to keep calm during traffic incidents.
Meghan Hansen, outreach officer at the Buffalo Grove Police Department, said motorists need to act reasonably when dealing with disagreements involving other drivers.
“Road rage is a such a weird thing,” Hansen said. “There are people who can handle it appropriately and there are people who take it to extremes.”
Some police departments in the county haven’t received any reports of road rage where someone brandished a gun at another motorist. Area departments also said recent road incidents involving the display of a gun haven’t ended with the firing of bullets.
One incident reported earlier this summer was handled by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The three incidents each varied but all started with a disagreement between motorists.
On July 8, a man driving a pickup truck pointed a loaded .40-caliber pistol at a woman driving another car at the intersection of Dundee and Arlington Heights roads in Buffalo Grove. The woman gave officers the man’s license plate number.
Police spoke with the man, who had a valid concealed-carry license, telling officers that he thought the woman was driving like a “psycho,” according to the police report. The woman ultimately declined to press charges, police said.
On Aug. 4, another woman driving through the intersection of St. Mary’s Road and Illinois Route 137 in Green Oaks told sheriff’s deputies a motorcyclist tailgated her car and then aimed what looked like a black handgun.
Police said they could not find a suspect.
On Sept. 24, after two cars merged into one lane at a construction zone just west of Milwaukee Avenue on Lake Cook Road in Buffalo Grove, a driver pulled out his 9mm pistol from a compartment inside his car and pointed it at the other driver, police said.
Officers tracked the suspect down and found that he was properly licensed. The other driver in the incident declined to press charges, Buffalo Grove police said.
Several other area police agencies have said officers have never dealt with such road-rage incidents. But Arlington Heights Officer Brandi Romag said a motorist caught in that situation should drive away and call police immediately.
“Whether it’s loaded or not, I wouldn’t want to stick around and find out,” Romag said. “Do not put yourself in any more danger than you’re already in. What could go right in that situation?”