‘Scared for my life’: Bowmanville ‘road rage’ dispute goes viral

Click to play video: 'Bowmanville dispute involving two motorists goes viral' Bowmanville dispute involving two motorists goes viral
Video of a dispute in Bowmanville has gone viral on social media. It involves two drivers who live in the area. Brittany Rosen has more from those involved. – Mar 12, 2021

Video that has been circulating social media appears to show a dispute between two drivers in Bowmanville.

The footage shows one of the vehicles attempting to drive away but is unable to do so due to the other motorist, who is standing in front of the SUV. The woman in the vehicle then gets out and confronts the man. When the man does not move, the passenger in the woman’s vehicle is heard screaming “get away” in addition to using explicit language.

“Did they hit your car?” a witness in the video is heard saying.

“Yeah, they hit my car,” replies the man standing in front of the woman’s vehicle. The SUV then appears to reverse and drive down the sidewalk at high speed, forcing witnesses out of its path.

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The incident happened Wednesday night. Multiple videos posted to Twitter have received more than 35,000 views.

Sisters Beth and Maaike MacLaggan, who filmed the videos, say they were “less than a driveway’s length away from the car when it started coming at us at pretty full speed.”

“I think we were just so panicked at that point we didn’t even look anymore, we just started running,” said Maaike.

However, the driver of the SUV, Melissa Freake, says the footage fails to depict the full picture of what happened that evening.

“I was scared for my life. Not only my life, but my daughter’s life,” Freake said.

“We wanted to get away from a situation that three seconds of footage was going to state who we are for the rest of our lives is completely unfair.”

The single mother of five alleges she was harassed outside of Liberty Convenience by the man in the video for not wearing a mask while inside the store. She says she has a heart condition that makes her exempt from wearing one.

Read more: Road rage incident in northeast Calgary leaves 7-year-old girl with ‘significant burns’: police

“This man leaves the store, and feels that (he can) get into his car with his mother and approach my car with my daughter.”

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Freake alleges the man then rolled down his window and began to yell profanities at her, adding “‘you think you don’t have to wear a mask? Wear a mask you m************ piece of white trash'”

Freake says she then drove to back to her house, which happened to be in the same neighbourhood as the man. She says both drivers pulled over and Freake exited her car to talk to the man about the alleged incident outside of the convenience store.

“He decides to drive towards me when my daughter exits the car to then proceed to see that this is what this man is doing. She then kicks his car,” said Freake.

“There was no altercation, there was no accident, and there was nothing happening there.”

She adds that both she and her teenage daughter suffer from numerous mental health conditions.

“I have a past. I have PTSD. I’ve been in (relationships involving domestic abuse),” Freake said.

Read more: Kelowna RCMP investigate road rage incident involving sledgehammer

“(This) was a fight or flight scenario and I was scared.”

Freake is calling for the video to be taken down across social media. She says as a result of its circulation, her family has received unkind messages and remains under immense scrutiny.

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Durham police told Global News they have spoken to all parties involved in the incident and have since concluded their investigation. No charges are being laid during this time.

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