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Old August 17, 2012, 07:48 PM   #1
Dieseljocky
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Driver Brandished a Gun at Me Today

Hello all. This is my first post here. New member. Just looking for some thoughts and advice.

While driving back to my office today, a driver almost ran into the back of my car on the interstate when he suddenly and aggresively changed lanes to take the same exit ramp as me.

I lifted a hand in a simple gesture of, "what are you doing?" while looking at him in the rear-view mirror. He immediately began to flip me off with both fingers while continuing to tailgate me down the exit ramp.

When the ramp split into two lanes (one for right turn, and one for left, at the light), he got in the left lane and aggressively waved a semi-auto pistol at me and began gesturing aggressively with the gun. He did not point the gun directly at me, but gave me a side-view with the gun pointed up to the roof of his car. His finger was on the trigger.

I immediately grabbed my cell phone out of my dash mount, and when he saw this, floored it to get away, but traffic ahead slowed him down and I was able to get his plate. He turned left and I turned right. I immediately called 911, and police units were dispatched to speak with me and also to find him.

When the officers spoke with him he claimed he only showed me fingers in the shape of a gun, never an actual weapon. I am former military, and know a weapon when I see one. The only fingers were firmly around the handgun. He also did not have the weapon on his person by the time the police found him, which is convenient for him.

The officer gave me his information and I have the option of going to the local magistrate and swearing out an arrest warrant against him. Apparently, this is not his first episode of this behavior.

So my dilemma at this point is whether or not to press charges. A part of me, the larger part, wants to, since he does not seem to have sufficient control of himself to carry a weapon, and I worry about the safety of other folks he may encounter in the future. The other part of me wonders if it is worth it to pursue criminal charges since it is his word against mine. Obviously, I would not have gone to the police had he only showed me fingers. I would have chalked it up to another idiot on the road, but this guy is a special idiot - and the potentially dangerous type.

Any thoughts? This is new territory for me.

Thank you!
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Old August 17, 2012, 07:55 PM   #2
allaroundhunter
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I would press charges. If something as little as that can set him off, he should not have firearms... What would you do if you don't press charges and in a few months he does this to your wife or another family member? I am not saying anything will come from you pressing charges, but at least you will have done as much as you can do and can rest easy.

It is one thing to flip someone the bird, but you don't play with firearms. This guy has abused his rights, and has put you (and others) in danger in the process.

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Last edited by allaroundhunter; August 17, 2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old August 17, 2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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Hello Dieseljocky, and welcome to the Asylum.

I realize that it would be easier to let it be... but do the hard thing and press charges. It's this sort of person that, later on down the road, might actually go beyond gun waving to gun shooting.

Based on your comments, I don't think you are the kind of person that would allow an innocent person to be harmed if it was in your power to do so... this is your opportunity to possibly save someone's life.

Best wishes,
C
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:53 PM   #4
Aguila Blanca
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Press charges.

ESPECIALLY as it isn't the first such incident. You never know -- it may be the next time or it may be the hundredth time, but one of these incidents will end with him pulling the trigger.
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Old August 17, 2012, 10:05 PM   #5
SamNavy
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By swearing out a warrant against him, you have the opportunity to face him in court and possibly change his life. You're the good guy.

By not swearing out a warrant, you become his enabler. He'll do it again. Next time, he might not just wave, or the guy next to him might not reach for just his cel-phone. You could just as easily be saving HIS life as saving the life of an innocent who happens across his path.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:40 PM   #6
BarryLee
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Another thing to consider is the fact that he knows you called the Police on him, so if he sees you again how might he react? By pressing charges you might be able to avoid a future incident.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:51 PM   #7
youngunz4life
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you said this was new territory for you.....

Quote:
So my dilemma at this point is whether or not to press charges. A part of me, the larger part, wants to, since he does not seem to have sufficient control of himself to carry a weapon, and I worry about the safety of other folks he may encounter in the future. The other part of me wonders if it is worth it to pursue criminal charges since it is his word against mine. Obviously, I would not have gone to the police had he only showed me fingers. I would have chalked it up to another idiot on the road, but this guy is a special idiot - and the potentially dangerous type.
you do realize that the officer(s) gave you a viable option and not the run around, right? the arrest actually holds more weight if you speak to the magsitrate yourself to get the warrant then it does if the officer makes an arrest after hearing both stories. in other words, the ante is upped. The officer knew this, probably believed you, and he also probably didn't have enough to make the arrest himself.
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Old August 18, 2012, 02:33 AM   #8
maestro pistolero
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Not that it matters, but I am curious, in what city and state did this occur? I agree, absolutely press charges. The life you save might even be his.
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Old August 18, 2012, 02:51 AM   #9
5.56RifleGuy
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If I had to guess it would be MD, around the D.C. metro area.

Press charges.
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Old August 18, 2012, 07:09 AM   #10
geetarman
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Press charges. If this guy reacts the way you said, and he has done it before, as stated by the police, you need to be aware he may also expend a lot of effort to intimidate you.

If the police did not find a gun on him or in his car, then he ditched it. That tells me he is no stranger to the inner workings of the court system and may have very well tossed a stolen gun.

Maybe it is time for you to CC.

That person threatens ALL of us. Apparently he has NOT learned how to play nice.

Good luck!
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Old August 18, 2012, 01:17 PM   #11
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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
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Old August 19, 2012, 07:53 AM   #12
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Agreed with all here. Press charges, you will rest easier knowing you stood up and did the right thing. Never back down from these people.
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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Press charges! Need scum like that off the streets.
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Old August 19, 2012, 11:05 AM   #14
publius42
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Press charges.

I'd view it as a necessary public service at this point, like serving jury duty. Yeah, kind of a hassle, but necessary.
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Old August 19, 2012, 05:26 PM   #15
thallub
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Press charges ASAP.
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Old August 19, 2012, 09:01 PM   #16
Crankgrinder
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If you did that youd be hung. Press charges asap!
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Old August 19, 2012, 09:13 PM   #17
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Old August 20, 2012, 08:33 AM   #18
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Yep, press charges and come back to this thread in the future to let us know how it turned out.
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Old August 20, 2012, 12:44 PM   #19
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Another vote for pressing charges. I think it's unanimous. Let us know how it goes.
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Old August 20, 2012, 01:50 PM   #20
Mr. James
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Welcome to The Firing Line, Dieseljockey, and excellent first post.

Press charges. This guy is a menace to others and, quite possibly, himself. He needs a good legal slap-down. Think how you would feel if you picked up the papers one day and saw his mug staring back at you, and you learned he was in the dock for shooting an innocent citizen.

The speed with which he disposed of the firearm also makes me wonder if he was the legal owner . . .
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Old August 20, 2012, 02:04 PM   #21
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Press charges. EVERY rampage killer gives signals he is a nut and is almost universally ignored. This is your chance to make the system work.
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Old August 20, 2012, 02:09 PM   #22
maestro pistolero
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What happened to the OP ?
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Old August 20, 2012, 02:46 PM   #23
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He ran into his friend again while driving.
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Old August 20, 2012, 02:54 PM   #24
Tom Servo
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Hopefully, our advice was heeded. We'll open another thread if there's any new information.
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