A Florida man was arrested over the weekend after a Black woman filmed a video of him going on a racist rant while stopped at a traffic light.
Jeffrey Rouse, 40, was taken into custody on Saturday morning, reported Naples Daily News. On Thursday, Aug. 13, Rouse and an unidentified woman were sitting at a stoplight in Naples, Florida, when Rouse began to shout racist insults at her.
“How much does your life matter right now?” he asked the woman before he threatened to mace her in her “n—-r face” and continued with further insults.
“F–k you n—-r!” Rouse said. “That’s how much your life matters. Nothing!”
He continued to rant and even threatened to defecate on the woman’s face. The woman posted the video on Twitter with the caption “I literally just got off the highway into Naples and this is the first thing that happens to me. Like this man could’ve killed me at a whole red light. FIND THIS MAN!!.” The video has since garnered almost 4 million views.
A statement from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office reported the rant came days after Rouse reportedly defaced two political signs outside a market and attempted to attack another person.
“When Rouse realized he was being photographed he hurled racial insults at the person and threatened him with physical harm,” the sheriff’s office stated. “One of the defaced signs also included a racial slur.”
Deputies attempted to apprehend Rouse on Friday after a radar clocked him going more than 100 mph through an intersection. A car chase ensued before the deputies stopped pursuing him due to safety concerns. He was arrested at his home the following morning.
Rouse was charged with criminal mischief, assault and fleeing and eluding. The sheriff’s office is seeking a hate crime enhancement for the slur he used on one of the signs. The incident at the stop light is still under investigation.
Peter Jean Marie, a friend of the woman Rouse yelled at, said the victim is traumatized by the incident.
“I definitely know it scared her, and, for me, it definitely scared me because I’m an African American,” Marie told WINK.
Dominique Peterson, a nurse who works for NCH Healthcare System, told the news station she was harassed by Rouse while walking through a parking lot with her coworker.
“I know this guy,” Peterson said. “This was the same guy I filed a report about a week or two ago. Now, we have clear video footage. He’s doing it to someone else.”
She’s glad the woman kept her cool while Rouse was shouting.
“For her to stay calm and get that video footage, which was so essential in catching that guy … good job, girl,” Peterson said. “That was awesome! You really helped catch that guy.”