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Aurora police officer arrested after road rage incident in Florida

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 19:22:31-05

AURORA, Ohio — An Aurora police officer was arrested after a road rage incident in Florida.

Joseph LaPerna, 48, is accused of brandishing a gun at another driver while traveling on Interstate 75, according to New 5's media partners at the Record-Courier.

"After consulting with the Law Director and Mayor, it was decided that Officer LaPerna would be placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. Once Officer LaPerna’ s Florida case has been adjudicated, the City of Aurora will make a determination on the appropriate course of action regarding Joe LaPerna and his status as it relates to the Aurora Police Department," Aurora Police Chief Brian Byard said in a statement.

This isn't LaPerna's first road rage incident.

In 2006, he was terminated from the department after being involved in an off-duty road rage incident, according to Byard.

The union fought the termination and LaPerna was reinstated after an arbritrator granted LaPerna his job back, which did not include back pay or benefits for his time off.

"As a conditional requirement of his return to work Officer LaPerna was required to undergo a fitness for duty examination and counseling for anger management and placed on a one year 'last chance agreement'," Byard said.

LaPerna was written up, suspended, reprimanded or disciplined more than 10 times between 2007 and 2017.

He was suspended in December 2016 for unsafe driving.

LaPerna was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a weapon offense.

His trial is scheduled to begin in April.