TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A celebrity chef swung a baseball bat at a driver’s car window and then told him, “I’ll kill you,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Ralph Pagano, 55, owner of Naked Taco in Miami and contestant on the first season of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, got caught up in a road rage incident back in March.
Officers with the Boca Raton Police Department said on March 3 a man was driving with his 10-year-old -daughter when Pagano, driving a black Tesla, pulled out of Seasons Community onto Jog Road.
The man told police after Pagano cut him off, he honked his horn and flipped off Pagano before taking his picture. Pagano then stopped in traffic, according to the affidavit.
That’s when Pagano began yelling at the driver and approached his vehicle with a baseball bat. Pagano then stuck the bat through the driver’s open car window while shouting, “I’ll kill you,” the affidavit said.
The driver told officials that the bat came within inches of his head, and instead hit the top of the child’s head. The child did not have any injuries.
A witness recounted the incident, telling police Pagano “aggressively” pulled out into the lanes, cutting off the driver. They also witnessed several obscenities being shouted during the verbal altercation.
When police questioned Pagano on April 12, he insisted that only a verbal altercation took place and that nothing physical happened despite there being a witness.
Pagano was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated child abuse, according to the affidavit.
On Tuesday, a bond was set for $10,000. He received a notice of arraignment for Oct. 12.