Brevard County man involved in earlier road rage case charged for trying to run vehicle off road

PALM BAY, Fla. — A Brevard County man is facing charges for allegedly trying to run a vehicle off the road and nearly running someone over.

35-year-old Jose Montanez is now facing three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following the road rage incident that occurred on Dec. 21.

Palm Bay Police said that Montanez closely followed two women who were attempting to turn into their neighborhood off Emerson Dr. NW in Palm Bay.


According to the arrest affidavit, the women claimed Montanez was driving erratically and tried to run them off the road before attempting to run over one of the women’s fiancé.

The woman’s fiancé claimed he had to jump into a ditch to avoid being struck.

This is not the first time Montanez has been involved in a road rage case.

Read: Former Brevard County deputy acquitted of murder, attempted murder for 2016 road rage shooting

In 2016, Jose Montanez was behind the wheel of a road rage incident that turned deadly.

The other driver in that incident was Brevard County Deputy Yousef Hafza, who said he had no choice but to open fire on a passenger in Montanez’ car when the passenger charged at him.

The now part-time deputy points to uncanny parallels with both incidents.

He said both incidents occurred along the same Brevard County road, and in both incidents, Montanez was behind the wheel of a vehicle that tried to drive the other car off the road.

Read: City of Palm Bay says there is no issue with flooding in one neighborhood, but a resident disagrees

Montanez never faced any charges from that 2016 incident, but Hafza was charged with second-degree murder for shooting and killing passenger Clarence Howard.

Hafza spent nearly three months in jail and his life was put on hold before a jury eventually acquitted him of all charges five years later. Jurors agreed Hafza acted in self-defense.

Now Deputy Hafza is calling for accountability for Montanez.

“That family is fortunate that they’re not having a terrible Christmas holiday for one of their family members because of the reckless actions of this individual who should have been in jail the first time this happened,” said Hafza.

Read: Halifax Health has welcomed its first baby of 2024

Hafza explained his life was put on hold as his trial played out for five years. He was barred from working in law enforcement throughout that time, and he said his personal life suffered as a result of his bond conditions that remained in place for the duration of the trial.

“By the grace of God, I remain patient. And with family and support, I continued to fight and ultimately, the justice system and due process played out… “I hope the State Attorney’s Office puts the same effort and energy and prosecuting him like they did with me,” said Hafza.

Court records show Montanez bonded out of jail prior to his first court appearance for the December road rage incident.

Investigators also said Montanez was driving under the influence and with a suspended license at the time.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Comments on this article