Deputies searching for woman accused in baseball bat attack

Driver filmed road rage incident with her cellphone

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

Julie Sam

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. - Authorities are still searching for one of two women accused attacking a driver with baseball bats in a road rage incident that was caught on video.

Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokeswoman for the Broward County Sheriff's Office, said deputies have issued an arrest warrant for 27-year-old Julie Sam. Coleman-Wright said Sam was last seen driving a 2018 Kia Sorrento rental car with Georgia tag RKR4868.

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 charges others multiple charges from earlier incidents. Denis is currently being held without bond in the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach.

According to the 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. 

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.

Samantha Denis

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 were able to track 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.

Anyone with information about Sam's whereabouts is asked to contact Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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