LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A Fort Myers man is under arrest after pulling a gun on a school bus driver he felt cut him off in traffic. The bus driver works for a company that transports charter school students.
On November 15, 2010 at approximately 6:45 am, the bus driver says he was leaving the parking lot of A & S Transportation at 10550 Daniels Parkway. After making a left turn and heading west onto Saddle Road, the bus driver noticed a white jeep approaching from behind the bus without its lights illuminated. Feeling he may have inadvertently cut in front of the jeep, the bus driver slowed and pulled to the side of the road so the jeep could pass him. The jeep passed the bus and both vehicles came to a stop at a red traffic light at Halter Lane and Treeline Avenue South. The driver of the jeep flashed an obscene gesture with his finger and the bus driver returned the gesture.
At this time, the driver of the jeep exited his vehicle and told the bus driver to get off the bus. The driver of the jeep then opened his rear passenger door and retrieved a rifle. Raising its barrel, he pointed the rifle directly at the bus driver, who remained seated on the bus. The driver of the jeep then got back in his vehicle and drove away. The bus driver was able to get a partial license plate number and also noticed a sticker on the rear window that had a picture of the state of Florida with the word “Cracker” written through it. There was one student in the back of the bus at the time. Neither the student nor the bus driver was injured. The student was safely dropped off at his school.
Detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit assumed the investigation. Based on where the bus driver and another witness saw the jeep drive, detectives canvassed the area and discovered the jeep parked at a residence on Lippizan Road. The suspect was taken into custody and positively identified by the witnesses as the person who pointed the rifle at the bus driver. After questioning, detectives arrested Blake Gracie of Fort Myers, and charged him with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon without intent to kill.