by Jae Brattain | posted 03.05.2014
While driving southbound on Highway 101 on Tuesday, March 4th, Joseph “Joe” Antonucci was being followed closely behind by Ryan Luna. The incident started at approximately 1:00 pm near the Montecito area with the two men angrily exchanging verbal assaults for several miles. Antonucci, 56, was driving in the fast lane. Luna, 25, felt the older man was going too slow and pulled alongside to tell him as much. Both tempers were flared, which lead to an escalation in the situation.
Things got out of hand when Luna, who resides in Simi Valley, decided to toss a large container of soda at Antonucci’s truck. The cup sailed through the passenger side window and hit the driver’s face. It subsequently splashed all over the interior of the vehicle.
In retaliation, Antonucci veered his truck and hit the side of Luna’s vehicle, which was also a truck. This caused the soda assailant to swerve off the highway exiting at Carpinteria Avenue. Antonucci, who is from Santa Barbara, continued south.
An eyewitness to the event contacted 911 when seeing what had happened. There was also a CHP officer who happened to be in the area with an unmarked patrol vehicle. It was CHP Coastal Division Chief Reggie Chappelle.
Chappelle followed Antonucci’s truck after the incident and pulled him over near the Mussel Shoals area. Upon further investigation by the California Highway Patrol, both he and Luna were placed into custody.
Antonucci is being accused of felony assault with a deadly weapon and reckless driving. He was booked at Santa Barbara County Jail and his bail bond is $30,000. Luna was also taken to jail and booked for misdemeanor battery charges, as well as throwing substances at vehicles. His bail amount was set at $5,000.