WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — An Alabama man faces child abuse and battery charges after a road rage incident on April 21, Walton County Sheriff’s deputies said Thursday.
Deputies responded to the Boggy Bayou Store on Highway 20 in Niceville after receiving a call about a fight in the parking lot.
Deputies wrote that the suspect, Thomas Keebler, 40, followed the victim into the store and parked in front of their vehicle preventing them from leaving. Keebler was tailgating the victim and aggressively passing the car on Highway 20, deputies added.
The victim’s car had two passengers inside, one was a teenager.
According to footage captured by the store’s camera system, Keebler is shown aggressively exiting his truck and lunges at the passenger, attempting to strike the back seat passenger. The third passenger attempts to exit the vehicle, but Keebler kicks the door multiple times to prevent them from exiting.
Keebler then shoves the teenager to the ground. The driver of the car tries to intervene but Keebler puts him in a headlock, striking him in the head several times.
Keebler fled the scene after the fight.
WCSO Criminal Intelligence managed to identify Keebler from previous interactions and contacted him. Keebler turned himself into the Walton County Jail Tuesday evening.
“This is an individual our deputies have encountered numerous times,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “Not to mention his extensive criminal history which includes driving under the influence, assault, possession of cocaine, terroristic threats, public intoxication, and more from jurisdictions across the southeast. He is a danger on the road and off.”
Keebler was charged with battery, criminal mischief, and child abuse. He was released on a $5,000 bond.