News Department

Man charged following road rage incident in Sparta Twp.

SPARTA TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County)– A Sussex County man is facing several charges in connection to an alleged road rage incident last month in Sparta Township.

On Sept. 27 at around 5:15 p.m., officers responded to Lambert Drive for a report of a motor vehicle accident. Once on scene, it was determined that the accident had occurred due to road rage, police said.

The driver, a 17-year-old boy from Sparta, who stayed on scene told police that a tan Jeep attempted to pass him over the double yellow lines on Sussex Mills Road, almost hitting his vehicle, police said.

The teen further stated that he gestured to the other driver, who was later identified as Phil Spagnola of Augusta, using his middle finger. This gesture apparently enraged Spagnola, police said.

A witness reported seeing Spagnola’s vehicle enter Lambert Drive on the wrong side of the road, and cut in front of the juvenile’s vehicle causing it to strike the rear of Spagnola’s Jeep, police said.

The witness saw Spagnola exit his jeep and approach the juvenile’s vehicle. He then allegedly punched the juvenile several times through the open driver’s side window. He then returned to his Jeep and left the scene, police said.

On Oct. 8, Spagnola signed complaints against the juvenile for reckless driving, tailgating and assault by auto, police said.

After a thorough police investigation, which included video footage and eye witness accounts, Spagnola was charged on Oct. 18 with endangering a juvenile, aggravated assault, false reports to law enforcement, unsworn falsification and false swearing.

Spagnola was released pending a court appearance.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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