Florida Man: On Wheels

“Florida Man” really is a thing, and apparently so is “Florida Vehicle” (which, to be fair, is just a vehicle with a Florida Man at the wheel). Such stories led the past two issues (and ended up as Story of the Week both times), so let’s take a closer look.

Last week's story.Last week it was an accident, more or less. (Click to see larger.)

More because it was accidental, but less because shouldn’t a professional truck driver 1) know how to secure his vehicle properly, and 2) grasp that the “Bridge Clearance” sign applies to him? Well, apparently not in this case.

But last week’s example pales in comparison to this week’s. Wait’ll you get a full understanding of Marco Mazzetta’s mentality. Let’s start with the story, from True’s 4 October 2020 issue:

This week's story.He probably was minding his own business while tooling down the FL-417 highway outside Orlando, when a Nissan 370Z zoomed up and tailgated him.

So the Nissan “started it” — but Mazzetta escalated: he says he “brake checked” the guy, which caused him to bump into Mazzetta’s truck’s rear bumper.

That, of course, set Mr. Nissan off, and he zoomed around Mazzetta, who had a friend in the passenger seat. When the Nissan was in front of him, Mazzetta says, the other driver flashed a gun out his window (all the photos on this page are captured from his dashcam, which helpfully shows both the view ahead and inside Mazzetta’s truck cab and out through the back window):

car shooter1 - Florida Man: On Wheels

Breaking it Down

Well, it might be a gun, and probably is; let’s just assume it is and break this down:

  1. The Nissan driver’s gun isn’t pointed at him,
  2. Mazzetta has total advantage in that he’s behind the Nissan, and in a much larger vehicle, yet
  3. he “feels” he’s in some sort of danger, so he
  4. pulls out his own pistol and starts shooting, right through his own windshield,
  5. which means his bullets aren’t going the direction he wants them to after being deflected through safety glass, and
  6. it’s almost impossible to control your own moving vehicle and shoot any gun, let alone a handgun, and actually hit another moving target while simultaneously being sure not to hit innocent bystanders (bydrivers?) in the vicinity.

Every one of those points is an element of incredible obliviocy.

But Wait, There’s More!

Look closely at this screengrab taken as Mazzetta is pulling his gun:

car shooter2 - Florida Man: On Wheels

According to his own drivecam, which apparently is GPS-equipped, he’s speeding along at 98 mph to catch up to or keep up with the Nissan! And, as he lines up to take the shots:

car shooter3 - Florida Man: On Wheels

…he’s still going 96 mph.

I also like how this makes it clear that Mazzetta isn’t leaning out the window to shoot, he’s rather shooting through his own windshield, which resulted in him and his passenger getting sprayed with pieces of glass. A later view toward the front shows damage to the glass: see below for the news report from WESH Orlando.

Self Defense?

Chasing after someone to shoot at them doesn’t sound much like self-defense to me. If he was afraid for his life because of the brandished firearm (even if it was pointed at him), all he had to do was take his foot off the gas, and take the next turn after the other driver passes it. That sure sounds a lot safer than the path he decided on.

And remember, all of this is based on his side of the story! As far as I’ve heard, the Nissan driver hasn’t been identified.

I did check to see if, in the nearly two weeks since this happened, there are any updates — such as Mazzetta being arrested for wanton endangerment. So far, nothing, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that charges were filed against him.

Did I say “obliviot” yet? Because it definitely fits. Statistics show that civilians using guns to defend themselves are much more likely to not injure an innocent bystander, such as the previous shooting breakdown I did in July — a police shooting: Peak Stress. In this case, the civilian with the gun sure looks like the “crazy” party.

The Video

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19 Comments on “Florida Man: On Wheels

  1. You need to invent a ‘scratch my head in disbelief’ emoticon, Randy.

    There’s a universal need for that, Marion. -rc

  2. CCP should be pulled and maybe his right to own any firearm revoked given he has such little self control and introspection. That’s beyond ridiculous and the awful part is he doesn’t see why. It’d be better (if ever so slightly) if after cooling off he could realize what he had done in allowing his road rage (anger) to take over. Instead it seems he still feels totally justified in his actions.

    For others: CCP = Concealed Carry Permit. That’s assuming he has one…. -rc

  3. Ah, Florida Man, you never disappoint.

    BTW, I’d say “passersby” rather than bystanders or bydrivers.

    Yeah, but then you wouldn’t get to make up a cool new word! -rc

  4. There’s a typo in the last paragraph. The word ‘not’ does not appear to belong.

    No, that’s correct. From another page here: “Newsweek magazine found that the error rate in shootings by police is 11% — they shot the wrong (innocent) person 11% of the time, which is shockingly high. When civilians shoot someone in an attempt to stop crime (which is rare: they usually don’t have to actually shoot at all), they get the wrong person 2% of the time.” -rc

    • Note the Brianna Taylor case. The b/f fires one shot at police, and hits with a warning shot. The cops return fire. And every single shot that hits a person hit Brianna. that’s an error rate of 100%.

      • And the guy they were after was already in jail! They not only shot the “wrong” person, but the “right” person was nowhere around. Does that bring the error rate even higher than 100%?

        Sounds fair. -rc

  5. The article from last week. I’ve thought about it since then, and want to come to the driver’s defense. It is possible that the accident was not his fault, even though the article says plainly that the dump was not latched.

    About 10 years ago, the Feds decided to widen our US Highway from a 2 lane to a four lane divided highway. All sorts of lines having to be rerouted, most of them temporarily. At a loading site off the road (where loads of gravel had been pre-positioned) a dump was pulling out, and his dump was reportedly latched. The mechanism let loose and the dump went up, and took out telephone, cable company (2 of them) and electrical lines that were not tightly strung (they were temporary.) Two days later, everything was restored to operating function.

    The point is that the driver was NOT at fault. And accidents happen.

    Looking at the picture provided, it looks like this MAY have happened to this driver.

    • I actually want to come to that driver’s defense too (sort of) — Connecticut has him beat by eleven years, and our guy forgot to put down the trailer at all.

      I might end up paying to find the story in the Hartford Courant’s archives, actually; I remember a very impressive image.

    • Bad design — that a truck can move at all with dump unlatched (Except with temp override enabled — to allow for manouvering when unloading).

      Witnessed the same accident (power, lights, phones) ripped out by truck with bed raised in 1987 in Taipei.

  6. I also own firearms and have held a concealed carry permit. I’ve had guns pointed at me in the past in road rage incidents; you slow down, let the other guy have the road, get off the road as soon as possible, and notify the police of the vehicle type and plate number if you get it. Nobody dies!!! Additionally, brandishing a weapon to intimidate in public is considered aggravated assault in most jurisdictions.

    You’re not in the hospital or morgue and the obliviot, if found, risks a felony conviction. If successfully prosecuted, the obliviot loses the right to own firearms and is less of a risk to the rest of the world.

  7. He would need to have a CCP to carry inside the waistband like that in Florida, even in his own vehicle.

    Also, I live in Central Florida, very close to SR-417 (I take it to work and church just about every day), just north of the Orange County line. This is the first I’ve heard of this ridiculous incident. However, I can say that driving 90 to 100 mph on that road isn’t unheard of.

    “Legally required to have a permit” does not equal “Has a permit” — though it’s likely he does have one, since after all he went to the police to report this. As for 100 mph, it’s not smart to do that when you’re trying to get away from the guy in front of you! -rc

  8. I drive for Uber in Florida, and I see a lot of, uh, interesting driver behavior. Some of it even makes me remark to my passengers, “We are in the home of Florida Man, you know.” But I’m very glad I wasn’t on the 417 tollway that particular day.

  9. I didn’t notice the speed they were travelling at until you pointed it out, because I was too busy being horrified at yet another dimwit having a handgun tucked into their waist and pointing at their groin again.

    Wasn’t it just a week or two ago we heard about some idiot that was doing the same thing when he managed to shoot himself with it whilst waiting at a checkout line?

    Though I am pleasantly surprised to see he didn’t already have his finger on the trigger. More of an alfoil lining than a silver one though.

    I did notice that he had the pistol pointed at his crotch as he pulled it and that he had his finger off the trigger. So he’s trained in the mechanics, but apparently not the ethics. -rc

  10. “it’s almost impossible to control your own moving vehicle and shoot any gun, let alone a handgun, and actually hit another moving target while simultaneously being sure not to hit innocent bystanders (bydrivers?) in the vicinity.”

    But they do it in the movies all the time.

    And a car that drives off a cliff explodes into a fireball before it even hits anything. *shrug*! -rc

  11. If he’s not a fan of guns, why was he carrying one? And from the looks of how he drew it, he’s lucky he didn’t shoot himself in a delicate spot.

    His answer to the question: “I’m a fan of not getting shot.” Luckily, he knew to keep his finger off the trigger while it was pointed at himself. -rc

  12. Why would you expect different behavior from someone who grew up in Florida? People complain about {Boston, New York, San Francisco, LA, Dallas, St Louis, Florida — pick one} drivers, but it boils down to being a defensive driver at all times. Or dying. Because stupidity knows no state boundaries.


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