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Road Rage

NEWS
May 28, 2010 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An ex-Marine with a history of mental illness was sentenced today to 13 to 26 years in prison for a road-rage incident in South Philadelphia that left a South Jersey man disabled with a gunshot wound of the head. Christian Squillaciotti, 35, said nothing before being sentenced by Common Pleas Court Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi after a two-hour hearing in which his background of childhood sexual molestation, physical abuse and mental illness was made public in painful detail by defense attorney Christopher J. Angelo.
NEWS
May 28, 2010 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com215-854-5949
Christian Squillaciotti, the former Marine who admitted shooting a fellow motorist in the head during a 2008 road-rage incident, was sentenced to 13 to 26 years in state prison plus 35 years of probation this morning in Common Pleas Court. Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi handed down the sentence following a nearly two-hour sentencing hearing during which Squillaciotti's history of mental illness and of being sexually abused as a child was detailed by his mother and others.
NEWS
May 13, 2010 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Moments after dragging Mark Wallace, unconscious and badly beaten, to the curb off busy Knights Road, Philadelphia firefighter Gerard Shaffer had a warning for the people gathering at the scene that April evening. "Nobody seen anything," he called out, loud enough that even some motorists inside cars heard him. The bystanders did not listen. On Wednesday, four of them told a Philadelphia judge how Shaffer, 47, and his son, Gerard Jr., 21, pummeled the drunken Wallace for walking in front of their SUV. Wallace, 54, of Northeast Philadelphia, died April 20 of massive brain injuries, almost two weeks after the beating.
NEWS
May 13, 2010 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
A former firefighter from Northeast Philadelphia and his son were ordered yesterday to stand trial in the "road-rage" beating death of a drunk pedestrian last month. Gerard M. Shaffer, 47, who retired before being fired from the Fire Department, and his son, Gerard Jr., 21, were each held on third-degree murder and conspiracy charges by Municipal Judge James DeLeon. Wallace, 54, of the Northeast, suffered a fractured skull during a beating at Knights and Fairdale roads on April 8. He died April 20. A third-degree murder conviction carries a maximum 20-to-40-year prison sentence.
NEWS
May 12, 2010 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com215-854-5949
A Northeast Philadelphia former firefighter and his adult son were ordered to stand trial this morning for the "road rage" beating death of a man last month. Gerard M. Shaffer, 47, who retired before being fired from the Philadelphia Fire Department, and his son, Gerard Jr., 21, were each held on counts of third-degree murder and conspiracy in the beating death of Mark Wallace . Wallace, 54, was beaten and fractured his skull after being attacked at the intersection of Knights and Fairdale roads in the Northeast on April 8. He died April 20. The prosecutor and witnesses at this morning's preliminary hearing in Philadelphia Municipal Court, said the fight between the Shaffers and Wallace began when Wallace walked in front of the SUV being driven by the father.
NEWS
May 7, 2010
WHAT happened to me on a recent morning made me think of recent road-rage incidents that resulted in almost explainable tragedies. I headed over to the Wawa in Port Richmond for a sandwich since I hadn't eaten in 24 hours due to a horrible toothache. It was almost 9 a.m., and the parking lot was crowded. I'd backed out once for one person and proceeded around the back of the lot, making a turn at the same time as a large SUV. I, a 40-plus-year-old African-American woman, came face to face with a 30-something white woman with her toddlers in the car. She aggressively butted her car up to the front of mine as an act of defiance, letting me know I needed to back up. Having already backed up for another driver, I placed my car in park and decided I was in for the long haul and proceeded to call my daughter and continue an argument from earlier.
NEWS
April 24, 2010 | By Bonnie L. Cook INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
John A. Yannarell, the Gilbertsville man who took his life Thursday after he was accused of three road-rage incidents, left two suicide notes, law enforcement officials said Friday. One was directed to his loved ones, said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. The second, she said, was directed at her - and rather than accepting responsibility for his violent acts on the highways, Yannarell blamed those he targeted. Ferman said that in the first suicide note, Yannarell - who apparently killed himself with a drug overdose - professed his love to those close to him. Authorities were working to figure out who they were.
NEWS
April 23, 2010 | By Allison Steele INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A former city firefighter and his son were charged with murder Thursday in the beating death of a 54-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man who walked in front of their car, sparking a road-rage fight. Gerard Shaffer, 47, and his 21-year-old son, also named Gerard, were charged Monday with aggravated assault, the day before Mark Wallace died from his injuries. The elder Shaffer, a 23-year veteran of the Fire Department, has been suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss. The fight happened April 8 at Knights and Fairdale Roads in the Northeast.
NEWS
April 22, 2010 | By Allison Steele and Robert Moran INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
The District Attorney's Office is deciding whether a city firefighter and his son will face murder or manslaughter charges in the beating death of a 54-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man this month in what police called a "road rage" fight. Gerard M. Shaffer, 47, and his 21-year-old son, also Gerard, were arrested Monday on charges of aggravated assault and related offenses in connection with the fight that left Mark Wallace in a coma. Wallace died Tuesday after relatives had him removed from life support.
NEWS
April 10, 2010 | By Derrick Nunnally and Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Until Friday morning, John Yannarell was a middle-aged engineer living a quiet life in a bucolic hilltop exurb in outer Montgomery County, as the single parent of a teenage daughter. Now he faces criminal charges, including attempted murder, in a startling allegation of road rage directed at a seemingly random driver on Route 422 in early-morning traffic. "None of us could imagine this," said Judy Rossi, a neighbor in Yannarell's tidy Gilbertsville subdivision. A nondrinker, Yannarell, 50, blew off stress with a boat at the Shore and a little-trafficked Web site called "Pitch Your B - Online" that he founded to vent life's frustrations.
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