MIAMI (CBS4) – Hialeah father Arlington Alcala, 32, is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital after a road rage incident nearly took his life. Now, his mother, sister and cousin are all speaking out as they keep a bedside vigil.
“I am so sorry about what happened and this makes me sick,” said Nubia Alcala, the victim’s mother told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “I just want to make sure that justice is done. He is a great father of two kids and he was innocent of what was going on. We pray to God he comes out ok. God saved him. We want justice so the person who did this will not be on the street.”
Nubia Alcala released new photos of her son from Jackson Memorial Hospital, showing him with swollen eyes, scratches on his face and a white bandage wrapped around his fractured skull after six hours of surgery on Saturday.
“This is terrible but we thank God that he is doing ok,” said Janet Avila, the victim’s cousin. “It’s sad that he was just getting out of work at 9 on a Friday and was going home to pick up his 10-year-old son Dominique. It’s just shocking. I can’t believe it. You’d never think this would happen.”
The Florida Highway Patrol said Alcala was in his SUV on the Palmetto Expressway when 28-year-old Edwin Vilchez hit him from behind at a high rate of speed and kept on going. Alcala was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“I think it’s unfair,” said Alcala’s sister, Alexandra Alcala. “What happened to him, it’s just something that he got caught up in. He doesn’t remember anything. He keeps asking the same questions over and over again.”
FHP says before that accident, Vilchez was racing down the Palmetto Expressway, chasing Jonathan Rivas after brandishing his gun and pointing it at Vilchez in the same road rage incident.
“It happened near Southwest 104th Street on U.S. One,” said Rivas.
He told CBS4 that Vilchez had his first confrontation with a woman who was driving beside him on U.S. One.
“This lady had a confrontation with the guy and he cut her off,” said Rivas. “He gets out of his car and cuts her off and pulls out a gun. I saw the gun because it was pointing at my car towards her and in my face. I got out of my car and said to him, what the heck are you doing. And then he says to me, you want some of this and I say I don’t have the time for this.”
“Then he started following me on the Palmetto Expressway,” Rivas said. “I called 911 and the operator told me to get off the highway and I said I’m not going to do that while he is chasing me. So when I got near Bird Road the man hits me from behind with his car. He was already doing 90.”
“I started reducing my speed and then I came to a stop on the highway but this guy then put his car in reverse on the Palmetto Expressway to try to catch me,” said Rivas, who works for UPS in downtown Miami. “Then I saw an officer and told FHP. I feel just terrible about what happened to the other man and what he is going through. It is much worse than what I went through.”
Rivas said he was so upset about what happened to Alcala that he planned to visit him at Jackson Memorial Hospital when the hospital would allow him to.
Vilchez was being held on a $38,000 bond and an immigration hold. He is a registered sex offender on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement web site.
He is charged with D.U.I., hit and run with injuries, resisting arrest with violence, displaying a firearm and criminal mischief.
“Things like this just shouldn’t happen,” said Alexandra Alcala. “He was going to have a nice Thanksgiving Day weekend with his family. There was no reason for this.”