‘Stand your ground’ no defense in road rage incident: FHP

'If you ever encounter road rage, avoid confrontation, and do not engage.'

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is using a recent incident in Southwest Florida to illustrate the limits of so-called “stand your ground” defenses.

“If you ever encounter road rage, avoid confrontation, and do not engage,” FLHSMV advises.

Per a release from the department Friday, Francisco Gonzalez, 44, of Lehigh Acres, allegedly shot at another motorist’s car after a fit of road rage.

“In early May, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) responded to a call from a black Toyota Tundra driver (victim) with a U-Haul trailer. The driver reported being shot at by someone inside a black Infiniti QX80, following a road rage incident. At approximately 5 p.m. on May 5, 2024, the driver of the Tundra, was driving south on Alligator Alley (Interstate 75), when the black Infiniti QX80 cut him off. A back-and-forth road rage incident ensued, which led to gunshots being fired from the Infiniti.”

The Infiniti allegedly fled the scene, but Gonzalez could not flee the long arm of the law quite so easily.

“On May 14, 2024, Investigators with FHP’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and Intelligence (BCII) discovered the suspect vehicle was being serviced at a local dealership. Troopers responded to the dealership to speak with the suspect driver,” the department continues. “Gonzalez advised he felt the driver of the Tundra almost killed him and his family by driving in his lane. Gonzalez advised he did what he did to defend his wife and stepson, who were also in the vehicle at the time.”

Though the gunman says he “stood his ground,” investigators were not convinced. The alleged gunman faces nine felony counts: three for discharging a firearm from a vehicle; three for “shooting or throwing a missile” into a vehicle; and three for aggravated assault with felonious intentions.

Per Florida Statute, “stand your ground” has limited applications which do not include disputes like this one on interstate highways.

The language allows “force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.”

It also permits “deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • My Take

    May 18, 2024 at 11:15 am

    On i-95 in Miami the advice used to be, “Don’t make eye contact with another driver.”

    • Speed

      May 19, 2024 at 10:08 am

      Absolutely 👍

  • Gunner

    May 18, 2024 at 11:21 am

    The MAGA way. Everyone needs a gun to protect themselves and their temper and their dear little woman so they can force births. Heavens knows we need to birth more bright problem solving kind compassionate humans in America

    • Mike

      May 18, 2024 at 5:44 pm

      What are you talking about? If ya got a problem you can easily leave Florida.
      Try your biden riden cal or new york. No maga there and certainly no shootings or troubled people.

      • JD

        May 19, 2024 at 9:30 am

        Oh shut the f@ck up with the “If you don’t like Florida you can leave” trope. You can easily follow the law and be a decent human being or YOU can easily leave Florida. Maybe to Putin ridden Russia or Orban ridden Hungry.

      • rick whitaker

        May 19, 2024 at 12:42 pm

        MIKE, are you defending the hellhole called florida? i left, you stayed, maybe that’s why you are defending it, you can’t leave. if you are maga, please don’t come to my state.

    • Mike

      May 19, 2024 at 10:03 am

      What are you even talking about? You think this is a Maga guy on what basis? I somehow doubt this was a very political person, but even if he was it has nothing to do with that ? Chicago must be much safer? They arent exactly Maga, must not be a gun in sight..?

    • Humanitarian

      May 19, 2024 at 10:15 am

      What a dumbass stupid comment

    • Bill Stewart

      May 19, 2024 at 5:00 pm

      Such as yourself?

    • Dee Oliver

      May 20, 2024 at 12:27 pm

      Congratulations, you’ve been noticed.
      Now, crawl back in your guano hole and take your woke nonsense with you.

      • rick whitaker

        May 20, 2024 at 3:19 pm

        DEE OLIVER, congratulations, you’ve been noticed. now, crawl back in your guano hole and take your maga cultism nonsense with you.

  • Richard D

    May 18, 2024 at 11:55 am

    A gun enthusiast who believes that the stand your ground law provides protection in every case is likely to be disappointed to learn that he may be required to prove his claim in court. Merely claiming that he believed he was in danger doesn’t work every time. “Stand your ground” doesn’t provide carte blanche to kill other people.

    • MH/Duuuval

      May 18, 2024 at 4:21 pm

      I agree with your interpretation of the law, but in fact it appears that standing your ground too often wins the day in court — regardless. Good old rebel chivalry requires you beat down anyone who steps on your blue suede shoes.

    • Jose

      May 19, 2024 at 10:15 pm

      Curiosly,the one that could claim grounds is the Tundra driver who was shot at……

  • Ocean Joe

    May 18, 2024 at 12:44 pm

    A Trumper on a hot day. But climate change is a hoax and so is the danger of flooding the place with guns.

    • Mike

      May 18, 2024 at 5:48 pm

      Im a trumper. I have no interest in killing anyone. Explain how supporting president trump aligns with a violent mind? I know your boy has threatened americans at least twice on national television. Hes such a coward he thinks he needs to send his military after us. Im all ears. Splain what ya said

      • MH/Duuuval

        May 19, 2024 at 7:47 am

        The idol you worship — DJT — is always advising his crowds to take out those who persecute him (or hurt his feelings).

        It’s an integral part of DJT’s message and has been since Oct. 2016.

        • Anne

          May 19, 2024 at 8:43 am

          You are being nutty, Trump has NOT advised crowds to
          “take out”/kill those who are against him.

          • JD

            May 19, 2024 at 9:31 am

            This is a fake paid account. The IP address is out of Russia.

          • MH/Duuuval

            May 19, 2024 at 10:25 am

            You believe DJT is talking takeout Chinese food? Watch his rallies, or go back to Oct. 2016 when he said he would not be responsible for what happened if he lost the election.

          • rick whitaker

            May 20, 2024 at 3:08 pm

            ANNE , you are nutty

          • rick whitaker

            May 23, 2024 at 2:50 pm

            ANNE, your russian loving self is nutty and childish. no one is giong to flip to maga because you said what you did. trump says many crazy things, pick one.

      • JD

        May 19, 2024 at 9:32 am

        This is a fake paid account. The IP address is out of Russia.

        • rick whitaker

          May 20, 2024 at 3:10 pm

          JD , where is the ip address, i don’t see it. i have a vpn, so can you see mine?

          • Dont Say FLA

            May 22, 2024 at 5:31 pm

            Rick, JD is just a talking carp like DJT. Russia IPs are blocked from this site.

      • rick whitaker

        May 19, 2024 at 12:45 pm

        MIKE, if you are a trumper like you say, then you are part of the problem, not the solution. you sound like a cultist.

      • Ocean Joe

        May 20, 2024 at 11:19 am

        Mikey I voted for Trump in 2016. I came to my senses about 11 pm that evening when the election was called in his favor.
        What I saw on my TV live on Jan 6 was enough to know what kind of folk love Trump the most. If you ever listen to his rallies his own words indicate his violence. “I’d like to punch em in the mouth!” etc. Pay attention.

        As for “my boy” if you meant Biden, more like my great grandfather despite my own advanced age. Dont know when Biden has threatened anybody with the military, and that’s one of his weaknesses.

        I repeat, ‘A Trumper, with a gun, on a hot day.’

        • rick whitaker

          May 20, 2024 at 3:07 pm

          OJ so you voted for trump against clinton, shame on you. clinton would have been a great president. i never believed one word of the russian and christian propaganda against her. i saw it for what it was. the bengazi torture the gop put on her was criminal. i’m thinking of the many people that would be alive today if you and others hadn’t voted for trump in 2016. i can’t imagine your reasons for voting for a monster over a human. i you get pissed at me for saying this to you, well i’m pissed at trump for stealing the 2016 election with the help of you, russia, and facebook.

        • MH/Duuuval

          May 20, 2024 at 11:32 pm

          Joe’s biggest stain is his crucial role in writing the draconian drug laws of the 1990s.

          But, thanks for sharing. I never would vote for Trump (never even watched his TV program, not even once) but I did get suckered by Ralph Nader in 2000.

          Live and try to learn.

      • rick whitaker

        May 20, 2024 at 4:00 pm

        MIKE , if you are a trumper, and i believe you when you say you are a trumper, then by definition, you don’t have a clue as to how the regular people see you. even the gop never-trumpers know what being a trumper means. if you don’t know why regular people see thumperism as a dangerous violent proned form of bullyism or facism, then you are too far into the trump cult to listen to anything outside the trump cult. you asked for an explanation, but you will not accept it as being valid. trumpers are hopeless.

      • rick whitaker

        May 23, 2024 at 2:51 pm


  • Frankie M.

    May 18, 2024 at 3:39 pm

    Road rage or roid rage?

  • harding brewster

    May 19, 2024 at 9:26 am

    Pulling out your fire arm should be your last line of defense. The risk of shooting is killing someone, going to hai, spend your time and money in court, or killing a loved one from a family, is it worth it

    • MH/Duuuval

      May 19, 2024 at 10:23 am

      Nearly half of firearms deaths are suicides, so keeping a firearm where it is readily accessible and ready to fire is playing with fire.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 20, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Somebody shot at me and my partner once from a black Infiniti QX80.

    First he did the ole “look at my bicep that I think is very big” thing first. So we laughed at him.

    Then he got a BB gun and shot it at us. So we laughed at him some more!

    Upon realizing we were just not scared of his BB gun, he veered off I-75 and took the next exit.

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this is the very same tiny D loser

  • Blog

    May 23, 2024 at 7:17 pm

    Call it whatever you like
    This act is old as old as drive bye bye.
    Taught behavior and a lot of mimic

Comments are closed.


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