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North Auburn motor scooter road rage assault investigated

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Placer County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for leads in identifying a motor-scooter rider who attacked an 85-year-old man at a North Auburn shopping center parking lot in what is being described as a case of road rage. The incident took place at 11 a.m. Monday in the Bel Air shopping center parking lot and was witnessed by five people, sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin said. The assailant wore a face shield and helmet that has hampered any facial identification and witnesses failed to get a license plate number, Erwin said. The getaway vehicle is being described as a Vespa-type scooter, red and white in color, with a vintage look. The victim is an 85-year-old Auburn man who said he was driving north on Highway 49 in North Auburn when he noticed the scooter being driven erratically. It was reportedly weaving in and out of traffic while slowing down and speeding up. The Auburn man said he passed the scooter in his 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity and then pulled into the parking lot. The victim said the scooter rider followed him and ran his wheel into the driver’s side door, leaving a tire mark and damaging the painted surface. He reportedly yelled “This is for cutting me off,” Erwin said. The octogenarian driver got out of his car and the scooter rider pulled out a knife, walked over and pushed the man against his vehicle. But the 85-year-old refused to fight, Erwin said. The scooter rider then walked over to a rear tire on the Celebrity and flattened it by pushing the blade of the knife into it, she said. The man was wearing black pants and jacket as he drove off. One witness attempted to grab him by the backpack strap but the strap broke and he escaped on the scooter, Erwin said. – Gus Thomson