Auburn mom attacked in road rage case while driving daughter to school

AUBURN, Wash. — Update on Sept. 20, 2018: Auburn city prosecutors say there will be no charges filed against a woman who, according to witnesses, jumped out of her truck and started punching another woman in a fit of road rage.

“The driver of the truck hopped out, lunged in through her passenger side window, just started punching her,” said Nicole, who captured part of the incident on her cellphone.

Two weeks after the road rage attack by a total stranger, Auburn mom Tabatha Erickson is trying to recover.

“It turned my world upside down,” Erickson said.

An injured knee means she is still out of work.

“My job is heavy labor doing all kinds of heaving, pushing and lifting,” she said.

Erickson said it all started after a driver honked at her when a light turned green in Auburn.

Then that driver got physical at an intersection a few blocks later, and that driver’s son jumped in too.

“It replays in my head over and over and over, what I could have done, what I should have done,” Erickson said.

Her 9-year-old daughter was also in the car at the time.

Now there’s another blow for her family, after a call from the Auburn prosecutor's office.

“My heart just dropped,” Erickson said.

“Said there were conflicting stories, there were too many sides to the story, and they were not going to press any charges. At all,” she said.

A city spokesperson told KIRO7’s Deedee Sun the prosecutor won't be filing charges against the woman accused in the incident. When asked why, the city said prosecutors don’t comment on specific cases.

“If nobody would've showed up, I probably wouldn't even be here. It literally took people to come and help get them off of me. What would it take for prosecutors? For them to bash my skull in? Kill me? It was an assault. She came into my car. In my car, punches me, and it's OK?” Erickson said.

Auburn police said prosecutors typically don't file charges when they believe there's not enough evidence to hold up in court.

But for Nicole, one of the witnesses, it just doesn't make sense.

“That they could do something like that and have no repercussions for doing that,” Nicole said. “I don't understand that. I saw everything from start to finish. The lady in the car never touched the other lady. She didn't even try to throw a defensive punch or anything, she just tried to protect herself,” she said.

Nicole said she does not know either women involved in the fight.

“I just wish I had thought to videoing sooner to prove the lady in the car did nothing, she did absolutely nothing to warrant what happened,” Nicole said.

The prosecutor's office did say it is referring the case to the juvenile prosecutor's office - to consider charges for the other driver’s son – a 17-year-old who is seen punching Erickson in the video.

KIRO7 has also filed a public records request asking for any documents related to what happened in this case, including witness statements and prosecutor’s documents, and will update this story with any new information.

Erickson said she’s had to switch schools for her high-schooler who attends the same high school as the teen who was beating her, and said she will move her family out of Auburn.


Tabatha Erickson is dealing with a black-eye, some scrapes and scratches, and a hurt knee.

“It was traumatizing,” Erickson said.

She was on her way to drop off her daughter, 9-year-old  Tessa, for the first day of school -- but they never made it.

“It was obviously some road rage,” Erickson  said.

It led to a fight and some of it is caught on video.

You see Erickson on the ground as a young man repeatedly punches her in the face.

“I'm just like wow, what in the world did I do?” Erickson said.

Auburn police say a woman you see in the video pressing Erickson’s head down is the young man's mom.

Erickson said it all started on a road near Auburn High School.

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“The light had just turned green! I'm going, and she was honking. And I'm like, OK impatient, are we? And I just went on my merry way,” she said.

A few blocks later at Auburn Way S. and Main Street, she says the truck that was honking pulled up next to her.

“My passenger window was down, and she came through my window and punched me in the face. So my reaction was to get out and see what the problem was,” Erickson said.

“Next thing I knew they were both punching me and kicking me,” she said.

Tessa was there the whole time.

“I was so scared, because seeing your mom get hurt,” Tessa said. “Just for a light? Why would you be on my mom just for a light?”

"She just kept screaming, 'Mommy, stop hurting my mommy,'" Erickson said. 
"She was all I could think about. When you hear your child screaming like that, it just -- it's hard. No little kid should have to witness that."

Auburn Police say according to the 17-year-old throwing punches, he was out there to defend his mom.  “So in his opinion he went to her aid and he did throw more than one punch at the woman,” said Commander Steve Stocker, with the Auburn police department.

But Erickson says if other people didn't step in and pull the woman and teen off of her, things could have turned out much worse.

“They wouldn't have stopped,” Erickson said. “Thank God someone helped.”

Auburn police say investigators are still talking with witnesses and going over video evidence, and it will be up to the prosecutor's office to decide on any charges.

Stocker said any charges would likely be misdemeanor assault, based on the extent of Erickson’s injuries.

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