Rick Kamrowski wishes he could go back in time.
"I just kept looking and seeing that Jersey barrier," Kamrowski said Monday in an exclusive interview with the NBC10 Boston Investigators. "It was just crazy."
Kamrowski, 65, said the events on Friday afternoon that led to him clinging to the hood of an SUV on the Massachusetts Turnpike at 70 miles per hour were "not the smartest thing I've ever done."
But he insisted he did not instigate anything. He said the other driver, Mark Fitzgerald, 37, ignored him when he yelled out his window to pull over. So Kamrowski cut in front of Fitzgerald's SUV and forced him to stop.
Kamrowski got out of his car approached Fitzgerald's vehicle. He said Fitzgerald again refused to exchange information and then warned that he had a gun.
"And he goes, 'I'll use it,'" Kamrowski said.
Kamrowski said Fitzgerald reached for his center console, and then Kamrowski, standing at the passenger side of the vehicle, said he reached in to try and stop him.
Kamrowski said he couldn't reach, but grabbed Fitzgerald's silver water bottle instead.
"This is a man who had attacked Mr. Fitzgerald while he was seated in his own car," Chinman said.
Kamrowski said after grabbing the water bottle, he moved to the front of Fitzgerald's car, close to oncoming traffic.
He claimed that Fitzgerald started driving forward, and he fell or jumped on the hood to avoid being knocked onto the Pike.
Again, Fitzgerald's attorney disputed that account.
"Mr. Fitzgerald reasonably decided, 'I need to get away from this man' and started to drive away, and the man jumped onto the hood of Mr. Fitzgerald's car," Chinman said.
Kamrowski insisted he was not the aggressor on Friday.
"He's yelling, 'Get off my car,' and I'm yelling, 'Pull over, pull over,'" Kamrowski said.
Kamrowski said Fitzgerald was weaving between lanes, slowing down and accelerating to try to fling him off the hood, so he took the water bottle and smashed the windshield.
"It's the only self-defense I had to try and get him to stop by smashing the window," he said. "It was better his window than my life."
Video of the incident shows Fitzgerald stopping twice, but it was in the middle of traffic. And Kamrowski says he was not even sure he realized they had stopped. He was too terrified to move.
"He would have run over me or somebody else would have run over me, just the speed of it. I would have been all done," he said. "There's no way I can let go. It's not supposed to end like this."
As Fitzgerald turned on his windshield wipers, Kamrowski clung to the car with one hand, and tried to text 911 with the other. But he said he could not see clearly without his glasses.
"I kept thinking about my family, my grandchildren," he said. "And I said, 'I'm not letting go.'"
Fitzgerald's attorney declined a request for a sit-down interview with his client.
Both men were arrested Friday. Fitzgerald was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene of a crash, and negligent driving.
Kamrowski was charged with malicious damage to a motor vehicle and disorderly conduct.
Both were released on bail and set to appear in court on March 13.