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Deputy Resigns After Video Shows Road Rage Incident

12:04 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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North Charleston, SC (WFMY) -- A North Carolina deputy resigned Wednesday after he was caught on tape in an apparent road rage incident.

Chad Walton and an Onslow County Deputy Craig Culpepper were driving east on Interstate 526 around 6:30 p.m. Monday when the incident happened.

Walton recorded video that shows the deputy driving into the left lane of a two-lane section of the road, next to an SUV. The deputy appears to be driving about 10 mph faster than Walton.

Walton says he started shooting cell phone video after he saw Culpepper, of Jacksonville, NC, yelling at him from his cruiser.

As the two lane-road opened to three, Walton shifts to the left lane, prompting the deputy to pass him on the right. The deputy then drifts in front of Walton and slams on his brakes, forcing the cars to collide.

Walton called 911, and the operator told him to pull over, but he refused because he says he was afraid of what the officer would do to him.

North Charleston police decided the deputy was at fault, but in the end, neither driver was charged.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said Culpepper was in South Carolina for K-9 training.

News 2 asked psychotherapist, Nannette Funderburk, Ph.D how the deputy went from road rage to resignation.

"We just act. It's not a life or death situation but sometimes we end up creating these life or deaths situations because the emotion control of our brain has taken over the logical thinking portion of our brain," said Dr. Funderburk.

Dr. Funderburk called it an emotional hijack. The emotion control in your brain takes over the logical thinking part of your brain. However, that doesn't mean it's out of your control. You react based on your stored patterns but you can change you stored patterns.

There are also factors specific to road rage. We all have different personalities, but we're all forced to share the same roads. People have varying degrees of aggression that can clash when we're behind the wheel.

"You might need to put a note on your steering wheel, a post it note that says slow down and breathe and you need to see that every day when you're not in road rage situation so that one day when you are in the road rage situation, you've been seeing that note there for days on end and you've started to create a new previously stored pattern," explained Dr. Funderburk.

News 2 reached out to a few local law enforcement agencies. Greensboro Police told News 2 that their drivers training exceeds the state standards. The state requires 40 hours of training for recruits. GPD requires 70 hours.

Road Rage Tip: If you find yourself in a road rage situation, Dr. Funderburk suggested taking very very slow deep breaths, inhaling for 4 seconds and exhaling for 5 seconds. That will force your heart rate to drop back down and you'll be more in control.

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