O.J. Accused of Road Rage

December 6, 2000 -- A foreigner watching the evening news in the United States might just think people in Florida do the strangest things. From the Elian Gonzales debacle to the presidential election snafu, the state's PR has taken a bit of a blow.

Now new Miami resident O.J. Simpson is making more trouble for the state's shaken reputation.

A motorist told police officers that Simpson suffered a fit of road rage after he chided the former football star for running a stop sign. Jeffrey Pattinson, 55, said Simpson berated him and later ripped his $300 glasses off, according to a report filed Monday.

Simpson called Miami Fox TV affiliate WSVN early Tuesday to deny the accusations, countering that it was Pattinson's behavior that was out of line.

Pattinson told officers that he was driving home in the suburb of Kendall, where Simpson recently bought a house, when a black Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicle ran a stop sign and cut him off as he was turning left. Simpson has accused Pattinson of following him and flashing his lights.

Just down the road, the SUV stopped and a man whom Pattinson recognized as Simpson got out.

"So I blew the stop sign," Simpson allegedly shouted at Pattinson. "What are you going to do? Kill me and my kids?" After Pattinson replied, "What the hell is the matter with you?" Simpson, according to the police report, reached through Pattinson's window and pulled off his glasses, scratching his face.

Pattinson told police that he could hear a young girl's voice coming from the SUV, saying, "No, Daddy. No, Daddy."

Simpson told WSVN that he pulled over to allow Pattinson to drive by and when he didn't, Simpson said he thought perhaps Pattinson "was someone I knew, or maybe I had a flat, or something was wrong with the back of my car."

Simpson swears he simply walked away from any sort of potential altercation. Pattinson, however, plans to press charges for battery and burglary, said a spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Police Department.

The department planned to interview Simpson on Tuesday and will take the case to the state attorney's office if enough evidence is found against him. At press time, there were no updates.

Simpson has had other run-ins with the law since he moved to South Florida earlier in the year. According to The Associated Press, cops were called to a Miami hotel in May after he and on-again, off-again squeeze Christie Prody got into a loud late-night fight, during which Prody allegedly slapped and kicked Simpson. Simpson refused to press charges.

In September, police were again called when Prody accused Simpson of breaking into her Miami-area home. She said Simpson erased a message on her answering machine and stole a personal letter, but she did not press charges.

Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and her friend after a sensational trial in Los Angeles. A civil court jury later found him liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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