HUTTO, TEXAS - There's nothing particularly special about the stretch of Gattis School Road that leads drivers from Round Rock city limits to Hutto. It's just the route Jessica Van Kline likes to take. But Thursday, something out of the ordinary happened.
"I was absolutely frightened," Van Kline said.
She had just picked up her twin toddlers and was headed home. She noticed a vehicle come up behind her shortly after she crossed SH 130.
"This car, it was like a red, older model Jeep Grand Cherokee, sped up into the back of my car and stayed within a ruler's length distance for at least the next five miles," Van Kline recalled.
When she turned onto CR 138, so did the other driver.
"I felt like the driver must have had an emergency or maybe somewhere to go so I decided to veer over into the shoulder, trying to let him pass by. And every time I did that, I attempted that twice, he sped over closer behind me and he continued to tailgate me, close enough to where I could see he was visibly enraged," she said.
The two eventually came to a stop at an intersection.
"He just blared his horn and leaned out of the door and spewed out quite a few racial epithets," Van Kline said.
When the light changed, they turned in opposite directions.
"As I was looking in the rear view mirror when he passed, he was leaning out and threw something out of the car," Van Kline said, adding that she nervously looked at her rearview mirror the rest of the drive home.
"I felt helpless," said Van Kline's husband Anthony, "because my twins and my wife were down the street and this man could have done something way worse than just shout."
While all Jessica wanted to do was get home, police say you should fight that instinct.
"No matter what, don't go home. Cause if you get scared and drive to your house, you think, 'my home is my castle, I can go inside I'll be safe there,' you don't want to lead someone to your house," Sergeant Jimmy Keyes of the Round Rock Police Department told KVUE News.
Instead, police say you should call 911 and keep driving so an officer can come to you. Drivers can also go to the closest police department.
The Van Klines say perhaps what bothers them the most about what happened was the racial slurs.
"A story like this that happened to my wife, pretty much any Black person or person of color that you speak with or you see in the street or you work with or you're in school with, they can recall at least one time where something like this has happened to them," Anthony Van Kline said. "And so it may not have been this egregious, it may have been something real slight, but something like this happens at least once in your life. And so when you have activist groups like Black Lives Matter and other social activist groups that are fighting for equal rights and equal treatment, it's because this is where it's stemming from."
Jessica Van Kline did file a police report and while her family now knows the right thing to do, they still have a sense of uneasiness knowing that driver is still out there.
"It makes me a little nervous because I feel like this behavior is not indicative of someone who does this once and then just leaves it," she said.
But instead of worrying, the Van Kline's are choosing to lean on their faith.
"We're going to pray for him," said Anthony. "We're honestly going to pray for him because we can't fight hate with hate, we have to fight hate with love."