Two drivers who attempted to merge onto a highway in the Southern Highlands became involved in a violent road rage incident that left one of the men in hospital and the other charged with drink-driving and a string of other offences, police say.
Police will allege in court that a 21-year-old man was left running down the Hume Motorway at Yerrinbool in an attempt to escape from the second driver, aged 41, who had allegedly stolen his car during the dispute and started chasing the younger man.
The alleged confrontation began about 4.30pm on Monday as the two cars attempted to merge from the Old Hume Highway onto the Hume Motorway at Mittagong.
Police say the 41-year-old man was driving a red Hyundai Accent with a 45-year-old female passenger when he and the younger man, who was driving behind him in a black Honda Integra, became involved in a dispute as they attempted to merge.
As the vehicles then drove north through Yerrinbool on the Hume Motorway, the older man allegedly drove his Hyundai into the rear of the Honda, causing significant damage to the car.
Both vehicles stopped on the motorway, when police allege the older driver got out of his car and "forcibly removed the younger man from the Honda and assaulted him".
"The younger man managed to get away and started running down the highway," police said.
"It's alleged the older man got into the Honda and started chasing him."
As the 41-year-old got closer to the younger man, he allegedly got out of the car and attempted to chase him on foot.
Police say when he failed to catch the younger man, he returned to the Honda and "allegedly jumped on the car and kicked the windscreen, causing major damage".
Police arrived a short time later and arrested the 41-year-old. He was taken to Bowral Police Station, where he was breath-tested and allegedly returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.076.
He was charged with predatory driving, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, taking and driving a conveyance, malicious damage, low-range drink-driving, and drive while unlicensed.
He was refused police bail and is due to appear in Goulburn Local Court on Tuesday.
The younger man was taken to Bowral Hospital where he was treated for injuries to his jaw and hip, and a number of cuts.
Police have urged anyone who saw the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.