MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police in Minneapolis are looking into at least two incidents where a driver is accused of trying to run people off the road.

What’s particularly disturbing is the message of hate the driver had painted on a sign in the truck for his victims to see. Victims say the driver’s sign bore the N-word.

The road rage incidents all happened in south Minneapolis between Jan. 11 and Jan. 15. On Monday, the husband of one of the victims spoke out.

Douglas Mackbee said his wife fears retaliation for coming forward. He says she was dropping off their daughter at day care and that while driving to work down Park Avenue a driver of a pickup truck began honking the horn at her.

“She noticed a vehicle on her left side in the left lane was honking non-stop,” Mackbee said.

His wife ignored the honking at first, believing the driver was trying to get the attention of the car in front of her.

“She noticed that the driver of the vehicle was looking directly at her,” Mackbee said. “They were pointing at her. They were yelling.”

He said his wife slowed down and the driver of the truck did the same. His wife then sped up and the driver of the truck followed.

“She noticed the sign on the back of the truck,” Mackbee said. “That’s when she became afraid. The other driver swerved at her, and it caused her to run off the road. She ran into the curb before the truck sped off.”

Mackbee says he called police and was told there was nothing they could do because the incident was a civil matter.

“So at that point, feeling powerless, I reached out to my social network on Facebook and gave a description of the incident and the vehicle and I asked my network to look out for the vehicle for the sake of public safety,” Mackbee said.

Within two days, a co-worker got behind the truck and took a picture. Mackbee says the picture forced police into action.

“City council members were being tagged, multiple police precincts…I think the Minneapolis Police Department figured this was something they needed to pay attention to,” Mackbee said.

Since the original road rage incident, police have learned of a second incident where the truck was seen trying to run people over on a sidewalk near Minnehaha Avenue and Lake Street.

The driver of the truck is described as a middle-aged white man with a long red beard. A younger, clean-shaven man was a passenger in the truck.

Mackbee’s wife believes she was targeted because she is a person of color and chose to wrap a scarf over her head the morning of the incident.

Minneapolis police have assigned two investigators to the case.

Reg Chapman

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