FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A 27-year-old woman accused of attacking a driver with a baseball bat in a road-rage incident that was caught on video turned herself into authorities Friday.
Julie Sam faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. She appeared in bond court Saturday, where her lawyer, Randall Haas, told the Judge Merrilee Ehrlich that Sam had no prior criminal record and plans to start a nursing program at Keiser University next month.
"I don't think she poses a danger to the community in light of the fact that she has absolutely no criminal history," Haas said. "This appears to be a very isolated incident."
Ehrlich called Sam "foolish beyond compare," and ordered her to have no contact with the victim. Bail was set at $7,500.
The other woman accused in the attack, Samantha Denis, 22, was arrested Monday. Denis faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. She also faces multiple charges from earlier incidents. Denis is currently being held on $25,000 bond in the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach.
According to Denis' arrest report, Sam and Denis confronted the victim, Mikaela Barboza, around 7:30 p.m. on March 22 in a parking lot in 3700 block of West Oakland Park Boulevard in Lauderdale Lakes.
Sam and Denis had chased after Barboza in separate vehicles after a traffic dispute, the report said.
"So finally, I stopped and I said, 'What's going on? I'm sorry,' whatever, and the first lady said, 'No, you're not going to cut off my sister,'" Barboza told Local 10 after the attack.
Barboza began recording the incident using her mobile phone and warned that police were on their way, the report said. A witness also recorded the incident.
According to the report, Denis left her car armed with a small baseball bat and began striking the victim. Sam also struck the victim with a large baseball bat, the report said.
Barboza said bystanders intervene and stopped the attack from escalating.
"Luckily, that's when everyone started coming," Barboza said in March. "A good Samaritan grabbed the bat and stepped on the wooden bat and would not let her grab it."
Deputies said Barboza suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and multiple cut and bruises. Deputies tracked Denis down after receiving multiple tips from the Broward County Crime Stoppers hotline.
Denis told police after she was arrested that she was angry because the victim had used a racial slur during the initial traffic dispute, the report said.