WALTON COUNTY, Fla.— An Alabama man is facing child abuse and battery charges after an alleged road rage incident in Walton County involving a juvenile.
On April 21, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) said it responded to the Boggy Bayou Store on Highway 20 near Niceville after a call regarding a fight in the parking lot of the business.
Thomas Keebler, 40, of Valley, Alabama, allegedly followed the victim into the store and parked in front of the victim’s vehicle to prevent him from leaving. According to the WCSO, before arriving at the store, Keebler reportedly tailgated the car and aggressively passed it on Highway 20.
The WCSO said there were two passengers in the victim’s vehicle; one was a juvenile.
The incident was captured on the store’s camera system, the WCSO said.
According to the WCSO, Keebler is seen aggressively exiting his truck, appears enraged, and is seen lunging at a passenger. He then attempts to strike the backseat passenger, the WCSO said.
A passenger attempts to exit the vehicle, but Keebler kicks the door multiple times to prevent the individual from leaving, the WCSO said.
“Keebler then shoves one of the victims, who is a juvenile, to the ground. The driver of the car tries to intervene, but Keebler puts him in a headlock, striking him numerous times in the head,” said the WCSO.
After the altercation, Keebler reportedly fled from the scene.
WCSO Criminal Intelligence said it identified and contacted Keebler, who they said has been previously ticketed multiple times this year by the WCSO.
He turned himself into the Walton County Jail on Tuesday evening.
“This is an individual our deputies have encountered numerous times,” said Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson.
“Not to mention his extensive criminal history which includes driving under the influence, assault, possession of cocaine, terroristic threats, public intoxication, and more from jurisdictions across the southeast. He is a danger on the road and off.”
Keebler was charged with battery, criminal mischief, and child abuse. He was issued a $5,000 bond and released on April 26.