EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

August 2, 2011

Salem road rage victim speaks out

SALEM — Scott Herman, 26, devotes his life to fitness and anti-bullying campaigns.

Early Friday morning, he said, he found himself the target of two young men who tried to damage his car and injure him.

Two men — Dean Bidgood and Michael Leavitt, both 21 and both of Atkinson — face multiple charges from the incident, including simple assault. A third man, Michael Smith, 21, of Salem, was not involved in the alleged assault and is charged with possession of marijuana.

Herman, who drives a distinctive Toyota Scion wrapped with advertising for his fitness company, said he has no doubt the men knew who they were targeting.

At 22, the Salem High School graduate, beat out dozens of other competitors for the title of having the best abdominal muscles on the East Coast, according to Men's Health magazine.

At 24, he was one of eight stars on MTV's reality show "The Real World — Brooklyn."

Today, he runs scotthermanfitness.com, an online fitness site, and works with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to combat bullying.

Herman, who said he is straight, became involved in the LGBT anti-bullying movement as the result of a transgender MTV cast mate.

Early Friday morning — just before 2 a.m. — Herman was driving his Scion on Lawrence Road and passed three men in a pickup truck. The men gestured to him and Herman said he thought he knew them. The truck stopped and he pulled up, his window down, he said.

One of the men called him a derogatory name and Herman said he realized he didn't know them.

"In two seconds, they had both my car doors open," he said. "I told them to leave me alone. I was calm."

Herman said he closed his door, but one of the men, whom he identified as Bidgood, was in the passenger's seat, trying to kick him.

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