A New Hampshire man is facing assault charges after being caught on camera shoving a female driver into a snow pile in an apparent case of road rage — but the man claims he was merely acting in self-defense.
Ricardo Montanez, 28, of Hudson, was arrested Tuesday and charged with simple assault following the incident at Amherst Street and Henri Bourque Highway in Nashua on Sunday, police said.
“Upon initial investigation it was determined that a minor accident occurred after a brief road rage incident involving the two vehicles at the scene,” Lt. Carlos Camacho wrote in a news release obtained by The Post. “Officers spoke to all parties involved and to witnesses. A witness was able to record the altercation between the two drivers and showed the video to the investigating officer.”
Montanez can be seen on the video forcefully pushing the unidentified woman with two hands, knocking her onto a snow-covered median.
“When I saw that she was shoved to the ground, part of me was just like, ‘Did that really happen?’” witness Jennifer Needham told WCVB. “And another part of me was, ‘That’s pretty sad.’”
The woman in the video told the station in an email that Montanez intentionally backed his car into hers and assaulted her after she approached his car to tell him not to leave the intersection.
“He got out and shoved me so hard I lost my balance,” she said.
But Montanez insists the woman had been incessantly blasting her horn and rear-ended his vehicle with her Toyota Pruis.
“She had her hand on the horn, the horn was just blaring,” the man told WCVB. “She drove into my vehicle. At that point – she was crazy – so I turn around and I get back into my vehicle. Now she’s getting out of the vehicle coming to my door, punching my window and opening my door. What was I supposed to do? I mean, I didn’t know if she was going to hit me, smack me or what.”
Montanez acknowledged fault in the incident, but stopped short of apologizing to the woman, who said she was told by a responding officer that the incident wasn’t worth filing charges.
“At the end of the day, it’s unfortunate that it happened, and I wish it didn’t happen that way,” Montanez told the station prior to his arrest. “We were both wrong in that situation.”
Montanez, who faces up to one year behind bars if convicted, was released on $5,000 bond and is expected to be arraigned on March 22, police said. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.