Irate driver punches ‘punk who deserved it,’ is arrested
By Erin Guerra Post-Tribune correspondent October 22, 2012 4:14PM
William Vannatta. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet
Updated: October 22, 2012 8:57PM
VALPARAISO — After a near-collision at about 6 p.m. Saturday, William Vannatta, 47, of Valparaiso, allegedly followed and attacked the other driver.
After police found him, Vannatta was taken to Porter Regional Hospital to be cleared for jail because of his intoxication level. While at the hospital, he allegedly made repeated threats to kill a security officer.
He was jailed on charges of felony intimidation and misdemeanor battery.
The other driver, a 23-year-old Valparaiso man, told police a man in his 40s or 50s driving a dark gray pickup followed him home from Garfield Avenue and Elm Street. The man, whom police later identified as Vannatta, then screamed obscenities at him and said, “I’ve been looking for a good fight.” He allegedly opened the victim’s driver’s side door and struck him several times in the face while trying to pull him out of the vehicle. Vannatta also reportedly threatened to “mess up” the victim and his vehicle if he got police involved.
Both men live in the same block on Elm Street, so police soon found the truck and knocked on doors at nearby apartments, finding Vannatta wearing the clothes the victim had described.
Vannatta admitted confronting another driver, calling him a punk who “deserved it.”
Police noted Vannatta also made numerous sexual requests of the female officer who drove him to the Porter County Jail.