Truckdriver victim of baseball bat attack

| 3/31/2003

A truckdriver was stabbed and beaten by two men in a road-rage attack that followed a minor traffic accident on Route 80 in Saddle Brook, NJ, The Associated Press reported.

Rush-hour commuters jumped from their cars to stop the attack, while others called 9-1-1 on their cell phones, giving authorities the license-plate number of the attackers' car.

An hour later, police arrested Michael Malgieri, 27, and Charles Byrne, 26, of Morris Plains and charged them with aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a weapon, authorities said.

Malgieri and Byrne were released from the Bergen County Jail on $50,000 bond each, pending grand-jury action.

Timothy Coughenour, 44, a driver for GNH Trucking of Farmington, PA, was released from a Paterson hospital March 25, a day after the incident.

Police said a Lexus registered to Byrne's father collided with Coughenour's truck around 4:40 p.m. while the vehicles were merging in a construction zone near the Route 80 westbound entrance to the Garden State Parkway. The drivers pulled over and got out to inspect the damage, which police said was minimal.

But Byrne pulled out a baseball bat and began beating Coughenour in the ribs, then Malgieri stabbed the trucker with a knife, police said.