Sept. 28--TAMPA -- Ross Urso was fed up with drivers cutting him off.
So on Monday evening he rammed his Ford Mustang into 11 vehicles, including a Tampa Airport Police cruiser, over a 3.5-mile stretch, then fought with and injured a Tampa police officer on Kennedy Boulevard, police said.
Urso, 54, of Tampa, told officers the other drivers were trying to run him off the road and he "was just defending himself," an arrest report states.
Urso was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Monday at 4503 W. Kennedy Blvd.
He told investigators he was a clerk at the U.S. post office at Tampa International Airport, according to the Hillsborough County jail website. But U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Enola Rice said he is not a postal service employee.
Otis McNish said he was driving his three children at Kennedy and Henderson boulevards when Urso struck his vehicle head-on.
"He came straight at me," McNish said. "I couldn't go left or right."
McNish was shocked. His children, ages 6, 9 and 10, got out of the vehicle. He went to see if Urso was hurt.
"He gets out of the car and starts charging and screaming and wanting to fight everybody out there trying to stop him to see if he was all right," McNish said.
Monday's incidents culminated with Urso's fight with officer Joseph Daley in the 4500 block of Kennedy Boulevard, police said.
Urso punched Daley in the face with his keys, according to the report. When officer Matthew Smith arrived and saw the struggle, he punched Urso in the jaw, hit him in the torso with his knee and was finally able to handcuff him.
Urso told officers he had mental health issues and regularly takes medicine but doesn't drink, the report states.
"He stated that he has a very bad temper and it is easily set off," the report states. "He advised that is what happened today and that he just could not control it anymore. The only thing he could think to do was hit the other cars with his."
Urso was charged with 16 counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. He also faces one count of obstructing or opposing an officer with violence and one count of obstructing or opposing an officer without violence.
Copyright 2011 - Tampa Tribune, Fla.