Road rage victim: ‘I feared an acid attack’

The victim of a bizarre road rage attack when he was sprayed with paint is hoping police catch the culprit - before he does the same thing again.

Wayne Hope, 39, was driving along the A610 from Ripley towards the Hurt Arms in Ambergate with his toddler son in the back when the car in front of him suddenly braked.

Wayne swerved to avoid the silver Astra, but the production worker, who was travelling to his home in the village less than a mile away, was then followed by the enraged driver.

The mystery man pursued in his car inches away from Wayne’s back bumper, flashing his lights at Wayne to pull over.

They both stopped at the side of the road and the silver car driver walked over to Wayne’s car. After a short argument the furious stranger doused Wayne with a can of red spray paint while his son Junior, two, slept in the back seat.

Wayne said: “After I had pulled over, he came up to my car door - he was ranting and raving.

“As I opened my door to tell him to be quiet he sprayed something over me.

“At first I thought it was CS gas or acid. I got out of my car and he sprayed me again, but he missed and it went all over the front of the bonnet, it looked like it was covered in blood.”

Wayne said the man, described as being white, around 5ft 7ins tall, between 40 and 50 years old, with grey hair and of slim build, was angry because he felt that Wayne had been following him with his headlights on main beam.

But the dad-of-three says he only had his lights dipped, but it may have appeared that way because the lights on Wayne’s Land Rover are higher up and sit at eye level.

However, the man could not be reasoned with and he covered Wayne in the paint, which caused burns on his hand and went all over the interior of the car.

Now Wayne is hoping police catch the attacker before he does it again

He said: “If the child seat had been in the front, my boy would have been covered, he could have sprayed him too.

“It was just so strange, I wouldn’t expect something like that to happen round here.”

The Astra driver drove off after the attack in the direction of Belper.

The incident took place around 8.20pm on Saturday, December 29. If you have information that could help police, call the non-emergency number 101.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) has issued guidelines about how to prevent road rage.

Among the advice is not over-react to, or panic about, another drivers’ errors, or poor attitude. They may be unaware of their actions.

When confronted by an irate driver don’t engage in gestures, headlight flashing or sounding the horn .

Refrain from eye contact with an angry or aggressive driver - this can make the situation worse.

If you find you are being followed by an impatient driver do not allow yourself to be “pushed” along, intimidated or made to increase your speed. Without actually pulling over or stopping – find a safe opportunity to allow that driver to pass. Circumnavigating a roundabout to allow a ‘tailgater’ to get past will add little time to your journey but can make a significant difference to stress.