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A man who was seen on video being thrown to the ground and kicked in the head after a confrontation along a Southern California freeway has been arrested because of an earlier road rage incident.
A passing motorist captured cell phone video along Interstate 5 in Los Angeles on June 12 of Jerry Patterson of Palmdale, Calif., being beaten by two other men until he was unresponsive. The video shows Patterson, 49, shouting with three men, and then rolling up his sleeves and balling his hands. Then, two of men push Patterson down, kick and punch him, and drive off with the third man as Patterson lay motionless on the ground.
On Thursday, Patterson was arrested for a different skirmish that happened last month: California Highway Patrol told NBCLosAngeles.com that on May 25, Patterson had been involved in a hit-and-run collision in Long Beach that led to a fight.
James Poole told NBCLosAngeles.com he witnessed the hit-and-run, and followed Patterson on his motorcycle. Patterson pulled over about a mile later and the two began arguing, said Poole, of Belmont Shore.
"I wouldn't let him get back in his car. First I demanded his driver license number and a lot of people started seeing us yelling and screaming at each other. I was looking at his driver license when he hit me," Poole said.
Poole said he walked away from the altercation with two black eyes.
"The three things I do recall he said during our discussion was the fact that he saved millions of Americans' lives, he's on a mission with the FBI, and to let him go," Poole said. There is cell phone video of the altercation.
Patterson was booked on suspicion of DUI, hit and run, and battery, according to the full police report.
Patterson didn't show up for his June 5 court date, so police issued an arrest warrant for him the following day. On Thursday morning, police arrested Patterson for failing to appear at the arraignment.
Patterson's sister told the station in a phone interview that her brother is "a very good guy. We support him 300 percent."
"These two incidents are isolated," his sister, who was not identified, said. "He's a good guy. He helps dogs and senior citizens. We don't know what is happening. Maybe he's just having a bad month. He's a good man."
Assailants seen in video arrested
Meanwhile, video of the June 12 incident prompted an investigation by the California Highway Patrol. The men accused of beating Patterson were arrested and identified as Edras Ramirez, 27 and David Mendez, 21. They turned themselves in on Wednesday night, and are scheduled to be arraigned at some point on Friday, according to the CHP.
Earlier this week, before his arrest, Patterson told NBCLosAngeles.com the confrontation began after he accidentally cut off the suspects. The men then followed him for about five miles and threw things at his vehicle before they stopped in front of him, Patterson said.
"In 20/20 hindsight, I probably should have called the police," said Patterson, who told NBCLosAngeles.com he suffered a concussion. "I'm just not that kind of person. I didn't think in my wildest dreams it would escalate to where it went to. ... It was just a fight. You win some, you lose some. ... I don't remember much of that."
The video of the fight was posted and later removed from YouTube, but is still live on a site called LiveLeak.com.
Emeal Age, the driver who captured the video, told NBCLosAngeles.com he didn't want to risk getting hurt by stepping in to try to stop the brawl.
"I didn't think it was going to escalate to this," Age said. "I didn't want to jeopardize what I have going on in my life for a situation like that. So I just made the best deicision and all I could do was get it on camera for him."
The video clearly showed the assailants' faces, and captured their license plate, as well. The third man seen in the assailants' car is not being pursued by police, said The Los Angeles Times.
CHP Sgt. Denise Joslin said it was wise of Age not to get involved.
"The ideal situation would have been that these individuals didn't engage in the type of conduct they did," Joslin told NBCLosAngeles.com. "We all know of good Samaritans out there, but I don't necessarily recommend getting involved in a incident like this. We don't know the capability of the individuals involved. We don't know if the individuals are armed."
When the assailants drove off, Age and another man are seen rushing over to Patterson, trying to help him up. By the time emergency personnel arrived at the scene, Patterson was gone. He told NBCLosAngeles.com he drove himself home.
Patterson, a mortgage consultant and father of three, was to be booked at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station, according to CHP.
His bond was forfeited and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Chet L. Taylor issued a bench warrant for $50,000.
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