The US Embassy has admitted that an American man who verbally abused a Maltese driver in a road rage incident caught on camera is a member of staff.
“The US Embassy can confirm that the subject of this video was an embassy employee who has since departed,” the embassy said in a statement.
“The behaviour depicted in the video did not comport with the standards of behaviour that we expect from all embassy personnel. We greatly regret this incident,” it added, referring to the incident captured on a You Tube video that went viral.
Times of Malta asked whether the man was sacked or transferred as a result of the incident, but an embassy spokeswoman said she had no further comment to make.
The embassy was originally reluctant to confirm or deny any connection with the man; however, Times of Malta yesterday independently established the man was in fact an employee.
The clip – which by yesterday had more than 85,000 hits after it was posted on the video sharing site You Tube on Saturday – shows the American man challenge the Maltese driver to a fight in the middle of the road after the two came nose to nose on the narrow Mrabat Street in Sliema and neither gave way.
At one point, the US citizen emerged from his silver Honda and launched a tirade of abuse, insisting the Maltese driver pull over immediately.
The other man remained in his vehicle but stood his ground and can only be heard saying “don’t touch my car” when the American tried to open the door.
The American eventually gave way and reversed. The Maltese driver calmly drove past, hurling some insults from a safe distance.
This prompted the American to abandoned his car in the middle of the road, remove his T-shirt and chase the Maltese driver up the road on foot.
Behaviour in the video did not comport with expected standards
The video rekindled memories for two people who recounted similar incidents which they claimed to have had with the same person – one in 2011 and the other last year.
One man who called Times of Malta claimed to have been verbally abused by the same person in a 2011 incident near the Catholic Institute in Floriana.
The man said he had a permit to close the road due to heavy unloading works but the American insisted he move his vehicle.
“It’s been two years and I don’t recall all the details but I remembered the person and the You Tube video brought it all back,” he said.
The other complainant claimed he had been confronted by the same man last year, while he was driving a silver Honda Odyssey, similar to the vehicle seen in the You Tube clip.
There was no comment from the embassy on whether it was aware of these incidents.
Times of Malta also asked whether the silver Honda was an embassy vehicle, particularly as it did not have any front registration plates or a road licence disk.
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