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Posted: 10:23 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2013

VIDEO: Off-duty Lakeland cop in road-rage fight

Jerry Monroe charged with misdemeanor battery

Officer Jerry Monroe
Polk County Sheriff's Office

By Joe Ruble

LAKELAND, Fla. —

A 41-year-old Lakeland police officer is facing charges for fighting in a shopping center parking lot after a case of road rage.

Investigators say Jerry Monroe was driving along County Road 540A in Lakeland with his teenage son in the car, when another vehicle driven by Andrew Jones changed lanes in front of him. Monroe felt Jones cut it too close and so, honked his horn.

Both drivers then "shot the bird" at each other, according to the police report.

When they reached a stoplight, Monroe got out of his car and began to approach Jones' vehicle, yelling at him. Jones and his passenger, Victoria Paradise, did not respond and drove off when the light changed.

Eventually, Jones and Paradise pulled in to Highlands Square Shopping Plaza to pick up a pizza when, police say, Monroe followed them, got out of his car and began to shove Jones.

They fought, eventually ending up on the ground, before witnesses could break it up.

Jones suffered several scrapes and bruises and a possible concussion. He was treated at Lakeland Regional Medical Center and released, according to the report.

After the fight, Monroe's son told police that he and his father were "cut off" by Jones who passed too closely and did not use his turn signal.