POINCIANA — He may have felt the motorist in front of him was driving too slowly, deputies say, which could be what led to a confrontation between two drivers on Poinciana Boulevard.
According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, though, one of the drivers may have taken the incident too far, which is why he ended up at the Osceola County Jail.
Mark Daniel Ortiz, 37, of 6200 Mimosa Drive in Orlando, was arrested over the Labor Day weekend and charged with aggravated assault. He was booked into the Osceola County Jail.
It happened on Saturday, Sept. 1 around 8:40 p.m., when Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies got a call about an incident in the area of south Poinciana Boulevard and Trafalgar Boulevard. The call was about a possible aggravated assault going on there.
When the deputies arrived, the victim told them he had been driving south on Poinciana Boulevard when he noticed a car coming up right behind him. The driver was operating the vehicle at a high rate of speed, the victim told deputies, and started trying to get him to move to another lane.
“The vehicle got very close to the victim’s vehicle, and the driver began flashing his lights to signal to move out of the way,” noted Twis Lizasuain, the public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. “The victim said he pulled over into the turn lane and the other driver, later identified as Mark Daniel Ortiz, began yelling at him and asking him why he was driving slowly.”
According to the arrest report, the first driver asked Ortiz why he was slurring his words. The two men then got into a verbal argument, “before Ortiz got out of his vehicle and began hitting the side of the victim’s vehicle,” Lizasuain noted. “The victim called 911 and Ortiz left the area.”
Using a detailed description of the car and his license plate, deputies found Ortiz at a nearby residence, at 2476 Albany Drive in Kissimmee. Deputies spoke with Ortiz, who they said appeared to be intoxicated.
He denied the allegations, Lizasuain said, but based on the evidence and statement from the victim, he was arrested.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is also marking the anniversary today of the tragic death of a Polk County man who was shot to death two years ago. The case has not yet been solved.
On Sept. 5 2010, Joshua Levi Burch, 20, was shot and killed while driving down Pleasant Hill Road near U.S. 17-92 in Poinciana.
“Two years later, detectives are still actively looking for new leads in this case, the only homicide from 2010 that goes unsolved,” Lizasuain said.
There is a reward of $20,000 for information which leads to an arrest.
Since the shooting, detectives have been looking for a black or Hispanic man who was believed to have been operating a newer model, black, SUV, possibly a Nissan, that was seen driving northbound on Pleasant Hill Road a mile from U.S. 17-92.
The shooting happened at 12:36 a.m. when deputies responded to a 7-Eleven at 1600 Pleasant Hill Road. Witnesses said a burgundy Chevrolet pickup truck pulled into the parking lot and the driver, later identified as Burch, had just been shot. The Lake Wales resident was transported to Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee and later pronounced dead.
Since then, deputies have placed road signs in that area to bring awareness to the crime.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 407-348-2222 or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).
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