A Durham, N.C., driver education teacher gave his students a surprise lesson in road rage, allegedly ordering a teenager to chase a car that had cut them off, then punching the offending motorist in the nose.
David Cline, 36, resigned Wednesday after being suspended over the incident, the Durham School District said. Cline was charged with simple assault, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
The alleged victim, 23-year-old waiter Jon David Macklin, suffered a bloody nose. Macklin, himself an aspiring teacher, wouldn’t discuss the details, saying only, “This is an unfortunate thing that happened to me.”
Cline did not immediately return a call for comment.
Cline had taught health, physical education and science at a Durham middle school for 11 years and also taught driver education at Northern High.
Cline was teaching two female students how to drive on Sept. 19 when another car cut them off, according to police. Cline instructed the student driver to chase down the car; when they caught up to Macklin, Cline got out and punched him, police said.
Macklin then took off, and the instructor allegedly had the student chase after him again.
Cline then was pulled over for speeding, and Macklin pulled up to tell the officer what had happened.
Cline was arrested and released on $400 bail. The girl driving the car wasn’t ticketed.
“I don’t think my client did anything to incite road rage,” said Macklin’s lawyer, William Morris. “This is one of those kind of things where you don’t know what happened because there was so much nonverbal communication going on.”
Before Cline’s resignation, Morris said Cline doesn’t deserve to lose his job.
“It’s our prayer that they will forgive his trespass,” Morris said.