Special treatment in road rage incident?

October 13, 2010 6:58:49 AM PDT
Questions are surrounding how police reacted to a man accused of pulling a gun during a road rage incident. The suspicion arises because of what happened when police got there. It has one man wondering whether and why that driver got special treatment. We know the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office is looking into the victim's allegations. The incident happened late last month. We have the 911 call, and you can decide if it sounds like someone should have been arrested.

What started along Highway 59 as a normal commute to work for Randy Beams quickly turned violent. He says he had slowed down in front of a truck near Patton Village and didn't expect what he saw next.

"I look back there in the rearview mirror, and I see him pulling out a gun case in the back of his step-side truck," Beams said. "Then I see the barrel of the gun coming over the steering wheel pointing forward."

By then, Beams was already dialing 911.

"This guy in a Ford behind me is pointing a gun at me," Beams told the operator in the 911 call.

With the operator on the line, he followed the man. They both pulled off the highway. The other driver he says jumped out.

Here's a transcript of the 911 call:

Beams: "He's getting out of his truck. He's pointing a gun at me. He just busted out my windshield."

Operator: "Are you stopped?"

Beams: "No, no. I was going down the road. He jumped. He stopped. He just busted out my windshield."

Operator: "You keep going. Keep going."

Beams: "No, no! He's going to jail. This idiot he's going to jail."

Operator: "I've got his license plate. Don't stand there so he can shoot you!"

It sounded like a serious situation.

Beams says a state trooper and Patton Village police officers arrived, so he thought the man was going to jail.

"He was put in handcuffs and put in the back of a car," Beams said.

But once the trooper left, Beams says it got strange.

"The officer came up and said, 'What do you want to do? File charges or him pay for the window?'" Beams said. "He said, 'What's your time worth? About $400?'"

Someone showed up with $400 cash, he says. He was given a receipt, and the man was let go, leaving him with a lot of questions.

"If it was me, I would have went to jail. If it had been any other normal person, they would have gone to jail," Beams said.

The Patton Village Police Department refused to do an interview and after repeated requests, it finally provided this basic offense report. Even the reporting officer classified the incident as road rage, but there was no arrest. The narrative said the driver was ultimately released because Beams didn't want to file charges.

"I don't have to file charges," Beams said. "Someone pulled a gun. That's the state. That's their job."

Now he wonders who the other driver is and questions whether he was given special treatment. He also hopes the officers are prosecuted.

"You just don't have court in the Flying J parking lot," Beams said. "Those police officers, they're not the DA and the judge. They have a right to do their job and that's to protect and serve."

A Patton Village police lieutenant says there is an internal investigation underway. The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office says they are waiting on a completed incident report so they can decide whether charges should be filed.

We are not yet identifying the other driver although police tell us he is not a law enforcement officer.

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