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Naples man who went on racist rant now in custody

A Naples man could possibly face hate crime charges after going on a racist rant at a stoplight.

A woman says she was sitting at a stoplight on Airport-Pulling Road in Naples when Jeffrey Rouse began yelling racial slurs at her – and she caught it all on video that went viral nationwide.

Rouse was caught on camera saying, “How much do you think your life matters right now? None!”

He was also using explicit language in the video. “Why does that matter? I’m going to put this mace in your black *bleep* face *bleep*.  That’s how much your life matters.”

The video not only caught the eye of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office but was also seen by thousands in the Naples community.

“I saw it and I was like wow, this is 30 minutes from me. That’s a local problem that’s happening,” said Maggie Teets of Naples.

“I like to think that we live in a world right now where we are very accepting, but when you see things like that, it’s very frustrating, it hurts,” said Amanda Gomez of Naples.

The victim recorded the video Thursday evening while the two were stopped at a red light.

“I definitely know it scared her and me. It definitely scared me because I’m an African American,” said Peter Jean Marie, a close friend of the victim.

Marie also said this is just an example of the sad reality that occurs right in our backyard.

“After watching that video and hearing that that happened to a neighbor, I came to the realization that racism is closer than you expect,” Marie said.

Dominique Peterson has encountered Rouse before. She is an ICU nurse at NCH and said she and her colleague were verbally assaulted by him.

It was when I saw that video, I was just like holy cow. I got goosebumps before I could even click play, I knew it was the guy,” Peterson said. 

She’s just glad the sheriff’s office took action so quickly. She’s also thankful for the brave woman who recorded the video.

“For her to stay calm and get that video footage, which was so essential in catching that guy … good job, girl. That was awesome! You really helped catch that guy,” Peterson said.

Rouse is also being accused of defacing political signs outside Seed To Table on Aug. 8.

Deputies say Rouse led them on a car chase late Friday that hit speeds of over 100 mph.

He was arrested after barricading himself inside his home.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Drew Hill
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