LaPorte Police Department stock

LaPorte Police Department car

Stan Maddux, The Times

LAPORTE — Police are trying to find out who shot a man with a flare gun in an apparent road rage incident.

The fireball struck Ricki Tidey, 59, on the arm and dropped to the ground, where it kept burning in the grass.

LaPorte Police Capt. Bill Degnegaard said no arrests were made, but detectives are actively pursuing some possible leads.

According to police, Tidey and a friend were standing outside his work van along the 800 block of Clement St. about 4 p.m. Monday when he was nearly hit by a pickup truck passing by.

The truck stopped and backed up, then during a heated verbal exchange the driver fired the orange pistol shaped flare gun at Tidey and fled, police said.

Tidey said he had only a small bruise and slight swelling by his left elbow.

Police described the truck as possibly an older model black Ford. The driver was white, skinny and appeared to be in his early 20s, police said.

Boaters often keep flare guns to fire into the air for help if in distress on the water.

James Doll, executive petty officer with the U.S Coast Guard station at Calumet Harbor in Chicago, said he’s not sure if a person could be killed if hit by one, but the burns to exposed skin could be severe, especially if a fireball got hung up in clothing.

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