By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — SALEM — Police are looking for four suspects involved in a road-rage melee that broke out in the parking lot of Market Basket on Sunday afternoon.
The incident apparently began when a Salem man, traveling with his wife and baby, pulled into the grocery store’s parking lot at 227 Highland Ave. and was nearly struck by a white sedan that was leaving the area, according to the incident log.
When the man yelled out the window for the other driver to “be careful,” one of the doors on the sedan opened, striking the man’s vehicle.
After that, “things got out of control,” police said.
The man got out of his vehicle, as did the four occupants of the sedan. The men began fighting, and the Salem man sustained numerous punches to the face and head. His wife tried to intervene, but she was knocked to the ground when she got caught between her husband and a man who was hitting him in the back of the head.
The husband told police that the assailants only got back in their car when a Market Basket employee and other shoppers got involved in the fight.
The suspects’ vehicle was described only as a white sedan. The victims were unable to read its plate number. According to police, the driver is a white man in his late teens or early 20s, with a scraggly beard and blond hair. The front passenger, who was described as “the most assaultive,” is a dark-skinned man between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-3. The rear passenger is a short man with brown hair and eyes. There is no description of the fourth assailant.
An officer inspected the victims’ car and noted a “deep perpendicular dent” behind the rear driver’s-side door.
Police advised the couple to go to the hospital and to call police if they saw the vehicle again.
The incident was first reported to police at 4:15 p.m.