Video shows Coral Springs road rage victim approaching firefighter's truck

Paul Peterman found unconscious on street near his pickup truck

By Michael Seiden - Reporter , Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - Newly released video shows a deaf man approaching a Broward Sheriff's Office firefighter's vehicle before a road rage incident that left the 37-year-old man dead in Coral Springs.

Paul Peterman was found unconscious near his pickup truck after Thursday morning's rush-hour altercation with Joshua Tillis.

Peterman was airlifted and later died at the hospital. A cause of death has not been determined.

The video released exclusively to Local 10 shows Peterman jumping out of his vehicle and diving through Tullis' passenger window.

The video would back up Tullis' claims that Peterman instigated the altercation.

Tullis' attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, said Peterman dived through the passenger window and then got violent.

"He sees a driver in a vehicle in a truck, and this driver's driving in a menacing fashion," Schwartzreich said. "He's doing brake checks. He's cutting off other drivers. He's cutting my client off. My client doesn't know what's going on with this driver, but he becomes concerned for the safety of others and for himself."

Tullis said he began filming Peterman's actions because he feared for his life and that the man had been driving erratically in the area of Atlantic Boulevard and Riverside Drive.

The video cuts off as Tullis speeds away from the scene.

Tullis only later learned of  Bernie Peterman's death after watching the news and immediately contacted detectives to cooperate with the investigation.

No charges have been filed in the case.

Peterman's friends and family said the former Eagle Scout was a loving and caring man, was about to marry his longtime girlfriend and was anything but violent. 

"It's really hard. It's a senseless death that we don't understand," Peterman's mother, Bernie Peterman, said. "The loss of your son is just heart-wrenching."

Paul Peterman's family is seeking comfort in religion and in each other's arms. 

"The only comfort that we can take is from God's promises that the deaf will hear, the blind will see and we know that Paul's in a much better place now," Bernie Peterman said. 

Tullis has been with BSO since 2008 and is now on administrative duty, which is routine for any BSO employee under investigation.

A memorial service for Paul Peterman will be held at 10: 30 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church of Coral Spring, 8650 W Sample Road. 

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