He was driving to one of the three jobs he holds when he came across Ferguson protesters blocking a road in San Diego during rush hour.
They were protesting the decision by a grand jury not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
Mr Tyree Landrum was livid. He was worried that he would be late for work and get fired.
He got out of his car and confronted the protesters - a group of students - Mail Online reported. He approached one protester standing with a bullhorn shouting: "No justice, no peace."
Mr Landrum ripped the device from him and replied: "Hey, I feel you, we don't get justice either."
He then told local TV station ABC News 10: "If I don't get there, I'm going to get fired. I've got six f****** kids to feed."
Many other drivers around him shared his anger, including nurses in their uniforms who were trying to get to hospitals, and got out of their cars.
A woman then shouted "arrest them" before police arrived at the scene - half an hour after the protest started.
Mr Landrum's rant on Wednesday went viral on Facebook, with many people coming out in support.
Reflecting on his actions, he said that he didn't consider himself a hero and regrets losing his temper.
"I'm nobody special, just doing what I thought was right," he told the TV station.
"And then he put this bullhorn in my face, and I was trying to get it out of my face. At that point, I was confused, frustrated and angry."
Eventually, his boss did not take any action even though he was late.
Mr Ryan Fusco, a total stranger, was taken back by what Mr Landrum had to deal with and decided to help his family. He started a YouCaring campaign to help him buy Christmas presents for each of his six children.
Mr Fusco told the News 10: "He's obviously doing all he can to support his family. The sincerity, the passion, his willingness to stand up and do something really spoke to me."
Other strangers - 82 in all - had contributed US$1,511 (S$2,000) by Friday, local newspaper U-T San Diego reported.
One anonymous donor gave US$25 and wrote, "From someone stuck in that mess, thank you! Good luck and have fun with Christmas!"
"MJ" gave US$20 and wrote, "Your kids have a dad who is strong, hard working and speaks his mind. I wish you the best."
Mr Landrum said he thought the gesture was a blessing.
His first reaction to seeing his rant on video: "Who is that ridiculous dude out there?"
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