Thursday, September 25, 11:42 AM PST

Drive-By Shoutings on the Rise Throughout U.S.

by Brent the Johnson,
NA!P NewsWire

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The FBI today issued a warning that the U.S. is experiencing an increase in drive-by shoutings, up nearly 800 percent from last year.

One such shouting nearly lead to the unintended death of the perpetrator's grandfather.

"People should know that drive-by shoutings can -- and, once in a while, do -- have consequences," said FBI Director Robert Mueller. "It can scare the bejeezus out of the victim or victims."

Drive-by shoutings can also lead to major accidents, which often lead to criminal and civil charges against the bawlers involved, as Marco Giovanni of Portland, Maine well knows.

"I'll never forget the day, nearly three years ago," Giovanni reminisced, shaking his head.

"I yelled 'Jerkwad!' to some dude who started crossing the street in front of me. The guy hesitated and was like, 'What?' Then he got hit by a unicyclist."

The victim suffered a sprained ankle. Giovanni served 12 hours of community service and paid a $34 fine.

Meander through the streets of any mid-to-large urban area -- chances are, above the daily din of engines and horns, you'll hear drive-by shouters making their presence known.

Chances are, they'll make their presence known to you.

Most of the drivers are amateurs, while others have made it into an artform.

"When me an' mine are cruising, yo, we'll see some crazy shit go down and ya just gotta react, know what I'm sayin'?" said Tommy "Two-Time" Turinado, 18, of Eureka, Calif.

Tommy has been drive-by shouting since 1999, earning his nickname by shouting at his victims more than once.

Tommy insisted on cruising through the urban sprawl of Eureka in order to give The New News the opportunity to depict a drive-by shouting "going down." It didn't take long for Tommy to find his victim -- a pregnant teenage girl with two small boys in tow.

"Hey you! YOU SUCK!" Tommy screamed, gunning his engine and roaring down the street in his beat-up Honda Civic. The puzzled look on the girl's face told the story -- she was the victim of a drive-by shouting.

Both boys began weeping.

But Tommy wasn't done yet, and circled back upon his prey.

"LOOOO-SER!" Tommy cried, voice dripping with contempt as he whipped by again at 35 mph in a residential area.

This time, the lady threw her children to the ground and covered their ears, but it was too late -- her kids now knew that she was, indeed, a loser.

While the damage sustained by victims of drive-by shoutings may seem obvious, the pain the driver inflicts upon himself is not -- and sometimes, the pain is unbearable.

"We were just, you know, high on something and hanging out," recounted Peter Bauer of Reno, Nev. of his experience last year.

"So it's late at night and we're almost home, and I'm tired but still high," Bauer continued. "I see this little old man shuffling down the street, and yelled out, 'HEY OLD MAN!'"

"Then he did this double take, and I see that it's my grandpa," Bauer said. "My own grandpa."

Bauer became so worried that he couldn't sleep for nearly an hour. What if his grandfather had a heart attack? Worse yet, what if he had recognized his grandson shouting invective and shaking his fist at him?

However, the next morning, Bauer found his grandfather at the kitchen table grumbling about "street punks."

"Luckily he's blind in one eye, so he didn't recognize me," Bauer said.

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