Good Samaritan aids victim beaten during road-rage incident

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- A man is fighting for his life after being brutally beaten during a road-rage incident.

The victim's father is certain things may have turned out even worse if it weren't for a good Samaritan who rushed to the victim's aid.

Family members say Scott Bradford was nearly killed on Monday night at 175th and A Street off of Pacific Avenue.

"It's pretty hard to look at Scott right now," said father Jerry Bradford. "(He has) broken cheek bones, broken nose, broken jaw."

But as bad as he looks, the victim's father says he has improved since he first arrived at Tacoma General Hospital.

"He's way better today. He's able to open his eyes," said Jerry Bradford. "He couldn't open his eyes for basically the first two days."

Family members said trouble began when the victim accidentally cut off a man in a Kmart parking lot. Army veteran Mike Howard watched the situation unfold from his car.

"I have never in my life seen a look like this," he said, adding the look appeared to say, '"I'm going to kill you. I'm going to rip you apart."'

Howard, sensing danger, kept an eye on the pair, and it may be the reason Scott Bradford is alive.

"The guy in the Taurus jumps out and starts throwing slanders, racial slurs," said Howard, who added Scott did not want to fight. "(Scott) got his hands up, said, 'I'm sorry. Didn't see you. There's no reason to get violent."'

But things turned even uglier.

"He just - bang! - hit him right square in the face," said Howard. "Just total rage."

The blow knocked the victim to the ground, but his attacker didn't stop there.

"Pushed his head into the gravel, and he starts pounding him," said Howard.

That's when the witnessed intervened. Howard, who lost both legs in a landmine explosion in Vietnam, jumped in to help while another witness dialed 911.

"He went to get in his car. I pulled my pocket knife out to disable his rear tire," said Howard.

That's when the attacker turned on him, according to Howard.

"He kicked me in the head here, stomped me in the head here and then punched me twice in the back of the head," he said, pointing out the hit spots on his head.

The attacker then got in his car and fled.

"This guy was totally uncontrolled," said Howard.

Jerry Bradford is certain Howard made all the difference.

"He saved my son's life," he said.

Police are now looking for a suspect in the case. He is described as a black man in his 20s who stands about 5 feet 8 inches tall and has a slender build. During the assault, he was wearing a green and brown fleece coat, and is believed to be driving a dark green or gray sedan, possibly a Chevrolet or a Ford.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest. Howard is also offering a $500 reward in hopes of catching the attacker.