Maurice Mayo, 23, of Mobile, said the important part of the story is that his girlfriend and his unborn daughter are safe.
Mayo said he was drawn into the unthinkable yesterday when another driver tried to shove the car that he and his girlfriend were driving in, off the road and then attacked them on foot at a red light.
A dramatic photo of the incident caught by another driver was circulated by news sources on Facebook and drew wide reaction from viewers.
The incident began on U.S. Route 98 in Fairhope when Mayo and his girlfriend were headed into town for a regularly scheduled prenatal appointment. His girlfriend was driving and was in the left hand, passing lane trying to move over into the right hand lane.
Mayo said heavy traffic stopped her from getting over. The driver behind her, in a red hatchback, followed close behind her and began honking his horn. A driver in the right lane slowed down to allow Mayo’s girlfriend to leave the left hand lane.
As she tried to move into the lane the red hatchback pulled into the open spot and then swerved towards her car.
Mayo said the man in the car and a woman passenger were “hanging out the window, yelling and giving him the finger. They were going insane.” Mayo said the man kept swerving his car towards them and then sped up and pulled into the lane in front of them and slammed on the brakes.
When the two cars eventually reached the red light at the corner of Fairhope Avenue and Hwy 98, the red hatchback was several cars in front of them.
Mayo said he got out of the car and yelled “disrespectful words.”
“Here I am. I’m a little bit upset and I did yell some things. He put my life in danger. He put my girlfriend’s life in danger and he put my unborn child in danger,” Mayo said.
“As I make my way back to my car to get in I see him running full speed and then he jumps on my windshield,” Mayo said. The impact of the jump cracked the car’s windshield.
“At that point I’m in a situation where I have to protect my family. We are two to three feet from each other. At this moment I recognize he was spitting foam out of his mouth. He was in rage.”
Mayo said he also noticed the man had a can of mace in his hand. Mayo went back into his girlfriend’s car and retrieved an unloaded handgun, he said, in order to make the man get off the car and leave his family alone.
Mayo said he backed behind the car to put distance between him and the other driver.
“I don’t want to hurt this guy but I don’t want him to mace me,” Mayo said. “When I backed up behind the car he instantly stopped and ran back to his car.
“At that point I didn’t think of the consequences of myself, I was more worried about my girlfriend and my unborn child,” he said.
The other driver fled the scene while Mayo called Fairhope Police, who Mayo said were “amazing.”
Mayo said he purchased his weapon at a pawn shop legally but was charged with failing to have a concealed permit. He said he spent roughly an hour in jail before he was released without posting bail.
Mayo’s girlfriend underwent spinal surgery two months ago and he said the swerving and stopping caused her some pain. While she was shaken, he said she was checked by doctors after the incident and both she and her baby are uninjured.
Fairhope Police have not responded to calls about the identity of the other driver or whether he has been identified.
Mayo said he is thankful to the driver who took the photo.
“At the end of the day, I would have done what I had to do protect my family,” he said.