Stephen Irvin Saunders, an investment banker in Tampa, was arrested Saturday, Dec. 18 for allegedly punching a 16-year-old girl in the face during a road rage incident.
Saunders, because he leaned inside the vehicle, is charged with burglary with conveyance with assault or battery. According to the Hillsborough County court system’s website, that’s a “felony punishable by life.”
Saunders pleaded not guilty Monday, Dec. 20, and his attorney, Kevin Napper, says: “We’ll let the court process play out, and there’s more to the story. You can quote me on that.”
According to the arrest warrant, the 16-year-old, who is not identified, was driving on North Florida Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, when she accidentally cut Saunders off. Saunders, 47, became “enraged” and followed her to the intersection of North Florida Avenue and East Henderson Avenue, the warrant states.
At the intersection, he allegedly cut in front of the young woman’s car and stopped in front of her when the light turned red. At that point, police say, he got out of his custom Porsche 911 and walked up to the 16-year-old’s car.
Police, in the warrant, say Saunders shouted “What the f--- are you doing? You stupid b----! You cut me off!” He then reached into the open driver’s side window and “punched her in the face with a closed fist.”
“The victim suffered redness, soreness and bruising to the left side of her jaw,” the warrant says.
Police describe her as having a “very youthful appearance.” Saunders, according to the warrant and his arrest record, is 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds.
Identifying Saunders was made easier because of the custom paint job on his car. According to the warrant, the convertible is white and black with 911 “boldly painted on the driver’s side door.”
Police say after the vehicle and Saunders were identified, the 16-year-old was shown a pack of photos that included his picture. She “quickly and definitively selected the person that punched her in the face,” the warrant states.
He was arrested Dec. 18, and a surety bond in the amount of $15,000 was issued the following day, according to online records.
Saunders, according to his arrest record on the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office website, is a self-employed investment banker. An online search of his name turned up no one locally working in banking matching his booking photo or personal information. On LinkedIn, one page pulled up as his profile was not available.