Professor, who possesses a cell phone decides to pull over and park to let a tailgater by. Said tailgater parks behind said Professor. The wise professor instead of driving off and using cell phone to report tailgater decides for whatever reason to chat with the exhaust sniffing sportsman. I'd rather not believe it happened than to accept the the story and realize that this person teaches at a university level.
I live in rural Nebraska. If a couple of guys were tailigating me, I would probably pull over, and might well get out to ask them what was up. This is not the kind of place you expect to have stragners attack you.