Police arrested a man early Wednesday after they tracked him from the scene of a "road rage" incident about five hours earlier in which a woman was beaten on the side of a highway in north Fort Worth.
Merric Demond Taylor, 32, was arrested about 4 a.m. at an apartment complex in the 5900 block of Meadowbrook Drive, said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman.
The 41-year-old woman told police she was roughed up around 11 p.m. on the shoulder of North Loop 820, Henderson said.
She had stopped in the 2300 block of the loop after someone from a car threw something at her sports utility vehicle, Henderson said.
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The people in the other car also stopped and the woman was attacked, Henderson said.
The woman, who was cut, bruised and scraped, managed to get the other car's license plate, which is what police used to track Taylor to the apartment complex on Meadowbrook Drive in east Fort Worth, Henderson said.
The incident began as the woman, who was eastbound on North Loop 820, "looked into her rear-view mirror and saw a car tailgating her," Henderson said.
"The black 1995 Saturn was so close on her bumper that she could not see its headlights," he added. "She tapped her brakes in an attempt to alert the tailgater to move back.
"This obviously upset the driver of the Saturn."
The woman told police that the car pulled up to the passenger side of her 2001 Ford SUV and someone in it "threw an object at her car, striking it," Henderson said.
This happened just west of the loop's intersection with Mark IV Parkway, Henderson said.
The woman followed the Saturn but decided to stop on the loop's shoulder to check for damage to her car. A man and a woman in the Saturn also pulled onto the shoulder, got out, and approached the SUV, Henderson said.
The woman was pulled from the driver's seat and then punched, kicked and cursed at, Henderson said.
The two people fled, but police subsequently used the license number to track Taylor to the apartments. It was unclear at noon Wednesday if anyone else would be arrested, Henderson said.
"He was picked up for questioning and taken to police headquarters," Henderson said. "After providing detectives with his statement, he was booked into the Fort Worth jail facility on the charge of robbery for taking the victim's cell phone while assaulting her on the side of the freeway."
Henderson credited the woman for getting the license plate number, but he urged anyone in similar incidents to take other precautions.
"If you have a cell phone, you can call police, but don't pull over (right where the incident happened)," Henderson said. "That could signify to the person you're having a problem with that you're wanting to confront him.
"And trouble can follow."
Henderson added that "the best recommendation to deal with a tailgater is to move out of the way by changing lanes if and when possible."