It was either road rage or a case of mistaken identity that ended in the Wal-mart parking lot January 11.
Around 9:30 p.m. Thaddeus Bogney lost control of his small passenger car and ran onto concrete landscaping materials at the Cleveland Wal-mart. Witnesses say the car was followed closely by a pickup whose driver then exited his vehicle and smashed the car's window with a concrete pad as the car's driver shouted, "I don't know you! I don't know you!" Witnesses identified the assailant as Jason Bocanegra, a Cleveland resident.
The victim reported that Bocanegra began the pursuit at Regency Drive and Highway 59, after blocking Bogney's path and exiting his vehicle to approach the car on foot. Bogney reportedly backed up and went around the truck, at which time Bocanegra got back into his truck and followed, trying to run him off of the road.
Bogney exited at Cleveland, pulling into the Wal-mart parking lot. Bocanegra followed and began bumping Bogney's car with his truck. Bogney reportedly lost control trying to turn a corner around a plant display, and ended up on the concrete landscaping pads.
Bocanegra then exited his vehicle, beating Bogney's window with his fist then picking up a concrete pad and smashing the window. All the while, Bocanegra was reportedly yelling something about his sister and making death threats toward Bogney. Witnesses said Bogney kept yelling, pleading with Bocanegra that he did not know him.
When Bocanegra started to walk toward his truck, Bogney climbed out of the broken window. Bocanegra saw him out of the car and ran back, hitting Bogney in the mouth with his fist.
At that point, witnesses had already called the police and as they entered the parking lot, Bocanegra returned to his truck and fled. When people told Bogney who Bocanegra was he said he believed he had gone to school with the man's brother and sister, but did not know his assailant. Bogney also stated he had recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the United States Army.
The San Jacinto County Sheriff's Department had been contacted by the Cleveland Police Department and arrested Bocanegra on outstanding warrants. It was later learned that Bocanegra had outstanding warrants in Cleveland.
The reason for the attack on the soldier remains unclear, but it appears to have been a case of mistaken identity.