Florida Men

Here’s another reason to avoid Florida: these idiots are on the road. Apparently there was a bit of a wrangle with one person tailgating, another person throwing a water bottle, and then this guy, Eric Popper, decides that the appropriate response is to fumble in the center well and pull out a gun, and proceeds to unload 11 shots sort of vaguely in the direction of his enemy.

I’m impressed. He shot up his own car door and window, dashboard, and windshield. He has his eyes closed and is just firing wildly. Tres macho.

Astonishingly, or maybe not since this is ‘Merica, this was the outcome.

According to the arrest report, both the victim and Popper reported the incident to the police. During the investigation, Popper told state troopers he believed he was shot at so that was why he began shooting. The other driver said he did not have a firearm but said he did throw a water bottle at Popper’s car. Surprisingly, there were no reported injuries. Both parties were released at the scene.

Were they given back their driver’s licences and allowed to get in their damaged vehicles and drive away? Neither of these guys should ever be allowed on the road again.


  1. says

    He’s probably got his eyes closed because firing a gun in a crowded space isn’t like the movies.. It was no doubt very loud, and bits of stuff were flying around, like the cartridge casings from his gun. Fortunately for him he didn’t get to find out what it’s really like to wound or kill someone.

  2. johnson catman says

    I would think that after that incident, he may find it difficult to get a company to cover him for auto insurance. Or at least, in a sane world, that would happen, so maybe not. MURRICA!!!!

  3. says

    According to WFLA news in Florida:

    It sounds simple. If your home is surrounded by neighbors and you have one acre or less, recreational target practice is prohibited.

    But according to F.S 790.15(4)(b), the subsection does not apply if the discharge does not pose a reasonably foreseeable risk to life, safety or property.

    So it’s a crime to fire weapons near your house where it might injure or kill someone that you can’t immediately see. Then why isn’t it a crime to aim and shoot at another person you can see, in a public place, with intent to injure or kill?

    I know why the shooter missed. It’s because the state’s mental gymnastics helped the other driver dodge the bullets.

  4. johnson catman says

    It looks like the driver seriously brake-checked the guy behind him. A couple of hotheads, and neither should be allowed on the roads. It should be a warning to all of the rest of us though that engaging with such a hothead could have deadly consequences and should best be avoided.

  5. StevoR says

    So serious crimes with firearms combined with serious dangerous driving and .. nothing?

    Imagine if they’d been Black.

  6. mistershelden says

    Seems like there were some consequences for Popper, the aptly-named driver.
    From the article https://www.local10.com/news/local/2022/01/28/watch-this-road-rage-video-caught-on-dashboard-camera-from-inside-shooters-car/

    According to FHP, the driver voluntarily provided the video to investigators. Popper turned himself into FHP on July 21 and is facing felony charges.

    He has since bonded out of the Miami-Dade County jail but still faces a number of charges that include aggravated assault with a firearm.

    Local 10 News learned that Popper was a civilian fire inspector with Miami Beach and resigned soon after the incident.

  7. Larry says

    #5) Imagine if they’d been Black.

    First thing I thought of as well. The answer would be reporting the death of one or both participants instead of saying that they’d been released.

  8. komarov says

    Road rage? He seems rather calm and collected in the video. Almost like he thought about it for a moment: Do I honk at the other driver? Just let it slide? Cut them off, maybe, the git. Oh, wait, I do have that gun.
    It also stood out to me that he didn’t have to cock the gun – I was curious to see how he’d do it while driving. So, he’s keeping a ready-to-fire gun with a chambered round in the car at all times? Or is this some design quirk of the gun? That gun would also be a nice bonus if the car is ever broken into, unless of course this paragon of public safety takes it with him every time he gets out.

    P.S.: I bet his file gets a nice little flag that flashes ominously at any cop pulling him over and checking his plates before approaching. “Loaded gun in car.”

  9. bodach says

    @ davidc1 Likely a Glock type weapon where you can leave a round in the chamber as the trigger itself is the safety.
    NB: guy’s an obvious idiot

  10. christoph says

    @komarov, #8: It could be a double action pistol-they’re generally safer in which to keep a round chambered. That said, it’s still stupid to do that.
    BTW, I’m guessing the guy is a little hard of hearing now.

  11. magistramarla says

    Intransitive @ #3
    When we bought the house that we used to own in Texas, our neighbors were relieved to see a big happy family moving into the house. We were told that the guy who had rented it from the previous owners had reloaded ammo in the garage, and tested his handiwork in the back yard. This was a typical suburb, with houses close by on either side, and behind our backyard.
    My husband found some empty shell casings in a cabinet when he was setting up his workshop in the garage.
    When we had to rent the place out for a few years, we had to reassure those same neighbors that we were careful about finding renters. We rented to the daughter of two teaching colleagues of mine and her accountant husband.
    They were definitely safe neighbors!

  12. whywhywhy says

    I am waiting for the NRA to explain how a ‘good’ guy with a gun would have solved this situation and protected the community. And how a ‘stand your ground’ mentality is good for us.

    On the other hand, maybe I don’t need to hear more lies and fantasy tales at the moment.

  13. Dennis K says

    Already quit his job. Needs to free up his schedule to hit the conservative talk-show circuit.

  14. says

    rsmith@15 the Glock, and the guns copied from it, use a two piece trigger. There’s a separate protruding section of the trigger that’s supposed to prevent the gun from firing if you don’t pull the trigger properly. Unless they’ve been modified these sort of guns don’t have an external safety lever.

  15. komarov says

    Thanks for the pointers and keywords on the gun. I looked up the glock safety and, personally, as an alternative to a separate safety catch elswhere on the weapon it seems like a terrible idea. It just makes it a little more specific on how you have to accidentally press the trigger before you end up with a “negligent discharge.” I can also see how it would be helpful in a fast-draw situation or a car shootout, which perhaps isn’t something regular people ought to need or be able to buy.* Oh, and it would also be very child-friendly in the worst way.

    *I know, USA. No need to remind me.

  16. gijoel says

    Neither of these guys should ever be allowed on the road in public again. FTFY.

    Seriously why are these guys not in jail.

  17. Pierce R. Butler says

    timgueguen @ # 1: It was no doubt very loud…

    Did you play the video (with audio on)? The gunshots sound more like clicks, no louder than the dorky music playing and the driver talking to himself.

    If not for the description of the police report, etc, I’d’ve suspected Popper recorded this in a garage and somehow faked the side window views of moving terrain and passing other vehicles.

  18. unclefrogy says

    the sound of the gun shots might be the result of the camera’s microphone and the software.
    that would be a pretty huge dynamic range to try to adjust to, that close to the mic might be 120db or more for a very short time he might not be deaf from that one time shooting in the car but his ears would be ringing for some time telling him just how dumb it was to do that that way. next time he should try to get the other car on his left side :-)

  19. snarkhuntr says

    @20 – Pierce R. Butler

    Any microphone adjusted to record normal level sounds at audible volume levels is going to peak out when trying to record something as loud as a handgun in a closed car.

    To put it another way: in order to render the audio in accurate scale, if the gunshots were to be played back so as to sound ‘a little loud’ on your speakers or headphones, all the other sounds on the recording would be basically inaudible. Your computer or phone is, hopefully, incapable of making sound anywhere near the 160Db produced by a 9mm.

  20. davidc1 says

    A Brit on holiday in amurica was killed recently by stray bullets while he was asleep in his hotel room.
    If I ever do wander over across the pond again,going to hire me a flak jacket.

  21. David Utidjian says

    @27 – davidc1
    Sleep in the bathtub. More comfortable than sleeping in a flak jacket.