I didn't ask you to break his limb OP. Just asked if it were a shotgun or a baseball bat on your rear windshield. Would you still walk away without calling the cops.
My reply to you was to report the incident to the police so you have grounds for getting a restraining order against him.
You talk about graduate school, I am done with grad school and doing my second masters. I've been in similar situations and have handled it calmly without touching the other person. Or even raising my voice. I just called the police and asked the guy to wait till they arrived. Later getting restraining order against the person. Now the person has to stay away from me and my fiancÚ 100 yards out. From your conversation the other guy was even wanting the police to come. It would have been easy.
It is one thing to avoid possible trouble and it is other thing to let someone walk all over you. Now imagine you have to go to your parents again and you see the same guy. How long are you going to avoid him?
Also if you had called the police, he would have got in trouble for walking on the road and got a ticket for jaywalking and destroying personal property on purpose. You would have got a fix it ticket for your exhaust if at all.
Front license plate, are you kidding me? I have had front plate tickets and I fixed it and got the ticket cancelled.
The same day when I had to call the cops on this guy, my car windows are tinted to 20%. That's illegal. I don't give a **** about a ticket if it was about the safety of myself and fiancÚ.
It's not about how big your balls are, it's about being rational and to take a right stand. Not necessary to punch him on his face. Deal with the situation with the right means.
Everyone who says he should have punched the guy, he did the right thing by not punching him but did the wrong thing by not calling the cops and just driving away.