HELENA – Helena police say there were recently two separate road rage incidents within two days of each other and both involved handguns.
The first occurred on Friday, the 9th, just before 5:00 p.m. in the area of Custer and Sanders. That incident was reported to police, with one driver saying the other driver had pointed a handgun at him. In that case, the second driver was found and charged with first offense DUI and felony assault with a weapon.
The second incident happened just after before 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, the 11th. Police say an officer responded to the area of Dredge Drive on a report that two drivers had pulled to the side of the road following a road rage incident and the driver of an Idaho vehicle showed a handgun to the second party involved and then left the scene.
Helena police say showing a gun in this type of situation will get you charged with assault with a weapon.
“The implication was pretty clear,” says Capt. Curt Stinson. “Basically if you look at assault with a weapon, I don’t have to shoot at you, I don’t have to hit you with the baseball bat, anything like that. It’s if that other person is in a reasonable fear that they’re going to get hurt or killed because of that action, then it’s still an assault.”
Capt. Stinson says if you are on the receiving end of road rage, leave the situation and do not engage the other driver. If that person becomes aggressive, drive to a safe location. He says in most instances where you feel road rage, the other driver just made a mistake and you should calm down and let it go.