A delivery-services worker was behind bars Wednesday, facing a possible murder charge, for allegedly pulling a knife on another motorist and stabbing the father of five to death following a South Bay road- rage dispute.
Rickey Vernon Smith of San Diego was taken into custody shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday at the scene of the fatal traffic encounter, which played out in a busy intersection alongside Chula Vista Golf Course.
The stabbing was the culmination of a rolling altercation between Smith, who turned 60 three weeks ago, and 36-year-old Horace Williams Jr. of National City, according to police.
The exact reason for the deadly run-in between Smith and Williams was unclear, though it apparently began when one of them took exception to something the other did behind the wheel, sparking an exchange of angry shouts and gestures, said Capt. Phil Collum.
As the fracas escalated, Smith, an off-duty FedEx warehouse worker, allegedly threw a soda at the other man’s silver Nissan Quest and used his white Ford Ranger pickup to ram the victim’s minivan from behind.
A short time later, Smith’s truck passed Williams’ vehicle at Sweetwater Road and Willow Street and suddenly stopped in front of it, causing a second collision, Collum said.
At that point, Smith allegedly got out, stalked over to the Quest and punched Williams through the driver’s-side window, then pulled a folding knife off his belt and stabbed the victim repeatedly, the captain said.
A witness interviewed by news crews described seeing the mortally wounded victim get out of his vehicle and fall onto the roadway, then get up and collapse again several more times before crumpling to the ground a final time, bleeding badly.
The suspect, dressed in his work uniform, was still at the scene of the fatal encounter when patrol officers and paramedics arrived. He surrendered peaceably, Collum said.
Medics took the victim to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, where he was pronounced dead.
Williams had just dropped off two of his five young daughters at school when he was killed less than two miles from his home, according to a GoFundMe.com page set up to raise funds for the family.
Smith was being held at San Diego Central Jail without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Updated at 3:10 p.m. Nov. 28, 2018
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: