3:10 PM CDT, July 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- The man who was believed to be the victim of a brutal road rage beating caught on tape was arraigned Friday for his role in another mishap on the road.
Jerry Patterson, 49, pleaded not guilty drunk driving and hit-and-run charged for his role in a traffic collision in Long Beach in May.
Patterson was involved in a road rage incident caught on tape last month on the 5 Freeway.
Two other drivers, David Mendez, 21, and Edras A. Ramirez, 27, were charged with assault with a deadly weapon - their feet - and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.
The video, which was posted on LiveLeak, shows a fight between three men in an older-model Volkswagen and Patterson, who was driving a Honda.
It begins when a car pulls up alongside a group of people arguing in the middle of a lane.
Patterson and one man from the VW raise their fists and begin to fight.
Soon, however, another man from the VW joins in, and the fight becomes two-on-one.
Patterson is dragged to the ground and kicked multiple times -- including several blows to the head.
The VW takes off, and those filming finally get out and walk over to the victim.
"You all right, bro? Get up. You can't get up? Get up man," one person says to the victim.
He eventually sits the victim up, and at that point, the video abruptly ends.
In a bizarre twist, Patterson was also arrested, but not in connection with the road rage incident.
The 49-year old is accused of causing a similar incident, also caught on tape, which landed him in jail on an outstanding warrant.
Long Beach Police confirmed to KTLA that on May 25, officers responded to a hit-and-run collision at Corona Avenue and the Toledo.
"The driver fled after the collision and was followed by a witness to the 200 block of La Verne," said Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Police Department.
"The witness made contact with the driver," Pratt said. "The driver assaulted the witness. Long Beach police arrested the driver for DUI, hit and run and battery,"
The motorist, identified as Patterson, was booked on suspicion of DUI, hit and run and assault.
James Poole, the witness in the Long Beach incident, recognized Patterson when he saw him on TV portrayed as a victim in the 5 Freeway incident.
Poole told KTLA that he followed Patterson on May 25 after he saw him commit a hit and run.
Patterson then allegedly assaulted Poole.
"All of a sudden I felt this blow to the head," Poole said in an interview.
Patterson spoke to KTLA after the road rage incident, which he says began when he accidentally cut off a car on the 710 Freeway.
"From that point they followed me throwing things at the car, insults out the window," Patterson said. "I'm like, 'Man, come on, I'm sorry.'"
Patterson says the men followed him all the way from Long Beach to Boyle Heights.
After merging onto the 5 Freeway from the 710, he says they cut him off on the on-ramp, stopping him and every car behind him.
"I was trapped," Patterson recounted. "I couldn't back up. I couldn't move forward. I started to run them over but then I would get sued for that or get arrested for that, so I decided to just fight."
At first, Patterson held his own, but when he was outnumbered he was dragged to the ground.
He suffered a black eye, a concussion and a cut-up elbow.
"I think anybody who lives in L.A. and drives in this traffic every day like I do for a living, it's like you kind of get pissed off sometimes at people," Patterson said.
"But there's a difference between getting mad at someone and trying to kick someone in the head when they're down," he said.
Patterson said his instinct was to fight back, but looking back, he says he realizes that may not have been the wisest decision.
"It's not worth it," Patterson said. "It could have been a lot worse."
Authorities want to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the altercation.
If you have any information, you're asked to call the LAPD's Central Los Angeles office at 213 744 2331.