CT: CCW holder victim of road rage, gets arrested


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Andrew Rothman
July 25, 2005, 11:44 AM
http://www.middletownpress.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14902489&BRD=1645&PAG=461&dept_id=10856&rfi=6

Cops seize gun shown by driver
By JEFF MILL, Middletown (Connecticut) Press Staff
07/22/2005

CROMWELL -- A driver was arrested Wednesday evening after he allegedly brandished a 9 mm handgun at another driver who had followed him off Route 9 to complain about his driving.

However, the suspect told police he only drew the gun for his own protection when the other driver waved a long black object that he took to be "a bat or a club." In fact, the object turned out to be an elongated flashlight.

Police said the incident began on Route 9 shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday, when a driver later identified as Scott A. Morris, 34, of 125 Bailey Road, Middletown, apparently took exception to the driving skills of Brian D. Shea, 31, of 28 Pardee St., Bristol.

When Shea exited Route 9 at exit 19, Morris followed him off, police said, and pulled alongside him to remonstrate with Shea about his driving -- even though Morris had his 3-year-old son in the car at the time.

During the course of the "discussion," Morris allegedly showed a long black object. In turn, Shea told police, he removed a Czech-made CZ-75D compact semiautomatic 9 mm handgun from his glove compartment and placed it in his lap.

However, in so doing, Shea not only allowed Morris to see the gun, but Shea also cocked it in full view of Morris. That, police said, caused Morris to break off the conversation.

He turned right onto Route 372, and then made an abrupt left onto Route 3, all while attempting to call police on his cellular telephone to report the incident.

Meanwhile, police said if Shea was not in pursuit, he at least was following Morris intently.

At the intersection of Route 524, both men turned right -- and happened upon Officer Joseph DiMauro, who was on routine patrol.

Morris and Shea both pulled over behind DiMauro and Morris got out to report the incident to the officer.

After listening to both versions, DiMauro decided to arrest Shea, who was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree threatening. He was subsequently released on $5,000 bond for an Aug. 2 appearance in Middlesex Superior Court.

Police said they have confiscated Shea’s handgun and will be in touch with the state Department of Public Safety and will request that the department revoke his permit to carry the gun because of what they say was his "unsafe handling" of the weapon.

To contact Jeff Mill, call (860)347-3331 ext. 221 or email jmill@middletownpress.com.


This looks like nothing more than standard "arrest the gun" behavior on the part of the police.

If that "elongated flashlight" is what I think it was -- a Mag light with three, four or five D-cell batteries -- it WAS a freakin' club.

If a guy followed me off of the highway in broad daylight, started yelling at me, and brandished a big-ass club of a flashlight (in broad daylight, remember -- sunset was still more than two hours away (http://tinyurl.com/bb66x) ), I think I'd make sure my gun was ready, too.

No one implied that the permit holder pointed the gun at the jerk with the flashlight, although the big black flashlight was "waved."

It sure looks to me like the permit holder was a victim of road rage and took reasonable, non-provocative steps to end the threat.

If you enjoyed reading about "CT: CCW holder victim of road rage, gets arrested" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
thatguy
July 25, 2005, 11:49 AM
Guy with flashlight is a monumental jerk. But guy with gun should have known better. I don't see any immediate threat in a club held by a man in another car. No way he could immediately hurt you with it. Carrying a gun puts you at what the law calls "a higher standard" and you have to be MORE reasonable in your actions than when you aren't armed. CCW guy blew it and he will pay the price unless he has access to a great attorney.

Oh, the flashlight guy should also be charged with something, but that doesn't excuse gun guy who over-reacted IMO.

HighVelocity
July 25, 2005, 11:54 AM
Carrying a gun puts you at what the law calls "a higher standard" and you have to be MORE reasonable in your actions than when you aren't armed.

+1

The "Oh yeah?! My weapon is better than your weapon" attitude will get you nowhere but incarcerated.

antsi
July 25, 2005, 12:09 PM
Following another driver off the highway to force a confrontation is a highly aggressive and threatening move in and of itself. A d-cell mag lite can be a very effective weapon, capable of inflicting serious injury and/or death. The gun guy was justified in thinking he was being threatened with lethal force. Up to that point, I'd say his actions were justifiable (if not ideal; more later).

It gets fuzzy after Flashlight Guy left the scene and Gun Guy started following him. That starts looking like an aggressive action on HIS part.

Judges, juries, newspaper reporters, and other assorted liberal blissninnies are used to flashlights (benign, nonthreatening everyday household object) while even posessing a firearm locked in a safe at home is highly suspicious.

Gun Guy didn't have to stop. If he had a cell phone, a much more defensible course of action would have been to call the po-po and say "I've got this crazy road rage jerk following me off the highway. Tell me where you've got a patrol car and I'll try to lead him there." Then, if even if somehow you do wind up having to confront the guy and defend yourself with your firearm, you've demonstrated you were trying to avoid confrontation and trying to put it in the hands of the cops, and you used your gun "only as a last resort."

In this situation, you want your actions to say clearly, "I was trying to stay out of trouble and avoid this confrontation. At the time I pulled out my gun, I had exhausted all other reasonable options."

The impression you do not want to let them think is, "These two hot-headed jerks got in a confrontation with each other. One of them had a flashlight, and the other one had a gun."

WT
July 25, 2005, 12:10 PM
Sounds like 2 idiots in road rage.

Shea should not have brandished his pistol. Additionally, he ought not to have followed the other guy after doing so.

Now Shea gets a chance to spend lots of money supporting the legal profession.

one-shot-one
July 25, 2005, 12:11 PM
i do not believe the gun holder should have followed after the "club" holder broke off, he should have seperated and phone the police himself, this especially with his kid in the car.

Frandy
July 25, 2005, 12:17 PM
Carrying a gun puts you at what the law calls "a higher standard" and you have to be MORE reasonable in your actions than when you aren't armed. CCW guy blew it and he will pay the price unless he has access to a great attorney.

+2

HankB
July 25, 2005, 12:23 PM
I think Shea's biggest blunder was following the other guy.

It sounds like he initially sought to break contact, and only pulled his gun when the other guy waved some object (not clear if Shea could tell what it was) in his direction. At this point, when the other guy broke off the confrontation, Shea should've done so, too.

But he didn't . . .

In the (thankfully) few instances I've been a target of potential road rage, I smile, wave, shrug, and let the other guy *think* I'm apologizing for *whatever* he thinks I did. He drives off happy, figuring that I'm a wimp and that he's Mr. Tough Guy, and I drive off happy that I "de-escalated" the situation and avoided having to shoot someone.

jondar
July 25, 2005, 12:25 PM
This could be an object lesson to all of us. I've seen it happen so many times. When the school bully gets knocked on his keister, he runs to the teacher. As posted, the gun owner should have called 911 but maybe he didn't have a cell phone. As posted, he shouldn't have pulled over. As posted he shouldn't have left himself open to a charge of brandishing. I certainly wish him luck and hope he gets to retain his permit.

dasmi
July 25, 2005, 12:29 PM
However, the suspect told police he only drew the gun for his own protection when the other driver waved a long black object that he took to be "a bat or a club." In fact, the object turned out to be an elongated flashlight.
Oh, only an elongated flashlight. Well I guess that couldn't possibly be used to hurt anyone with.
Oh wait, don't police carry elongated flashlights, because they make excellent blunt force weapons?

Omni04
July 25, 2005, 12:29 PM
i agree that the flash light wielding maniac should get charged with something... i mean the police say that all the actions he did were all reasonable?

following somebody, yelling at them about their driving, then waving around a flashlight...

halvey
July 25, 2005, 01:16 PM
Matt
In Minnesota, do you think he'd have been arrested?

Guys, just because he was arrested, does not mean he is in trouble or will be charged. The police can arrest and hold you for 72 hours with little reason.

grimjaw
July 25, 2005, 02:04 PM
I don't understand why Shea couldn't have just driven off and left Morris 'waving a club' at his receeding license plate, before showing his weapon. He let his anger get the better of him when he started following the guy. I don't like being intimidated any more than the next person, but I won't have the luxury of impotent flashlight waving and screaming once I get a CCW permit.

+1 on the cellphone suggestions. The yearly price of the phone is less than his bond.

mete
July 25, 2005, 02:05 PM
They're both idiots and should be locked up ! Shea should have tried to get away from Morris and notify police . Instead he escalated the situation which makes him just as guilty. Morris was an idiot for endangering his kid .If he had a problem he should have called the police ....Walk away from an incident NEVER escalate in any way.

Jim K
July 25, 2005, 02:13 PM
"When Shea exited Route 9 at exit 19, Morris followed him off, police said, and pulled alongside him to remonstrate with Shea about his driving..."

That was the point where things went wrong, and Morris was at fault. It was not his duty or place to follow Shea off the road and "remonstrate" with him. If he was sufficiently concerned, he should have called the police and reported the incident. His actions placed him and his child in danger. The other car could have been stolen or driven by a wanted killer.

"Do gooders" often get themselves and others in trouble. It looks like this time, Shea, not without fault on his own part, was the one who got into the most trouble.

Jim

bubbygator
July 25, 2005, 03:32 PM
In most states, a gun is not a device to "de-escalate" a situation... that is only for LEO's. A civilian's gun is strictly for defense against lethal attack; and as someone mentioned, a civilian CCW is held to a higher standard. In some states, a person's auto is considered the same as his home, & he is not obligated to retreat from an attack before it becomes a lethal threat... but he still can't simply brandish without consequences.

Andrew Rothman
July 25, 2005, 03:52 PM
Sorry, guys: I just don't think moving a gun from glove compartment to lap is "brandishing."

Matt
In Minnesota, do you think he'd have been arrested?

In Minneapolis, yeah. In Eden Prairie, probably not. Elsewhere, your guess is as good as mine.

culleniii
July 25, 2005, 04:39 PM
1. The a 3-5 d or c cell flashlight is a deadly weapon and more deadlier then a standard billy club. There have been many documented killings by this.

2. I know "officer" joey dimuaro..thats a frickin joke he even is an "officer"--I went to high school with him. He is an idiot and got on the force because its one of those small town political things.

3. why do these people stop and talk for driving. In a vehilce-- one can just keep going unless someone tries to run you off road or block you in and then you have a good shoot situation.

4. I dont seee an issue here--man showed club ---victim showed gun --whats the problem?

5. why wasnt club guy issued a citation for brandishing?

6. Humm seems to me the Cromwell police are as usual excited about doing something to the permit holder when he hasnt even been convicted of a crime. Saying they cill call DPS about his permit when it hasnt even gone through court system.

NineseveN
July 25, 2005, 05:16 PM
Lame.

Billmanweh
July 25, 2005, 05:16 PM
Sorry, guys: I just don't think moving a gun from glove compartment to lap is "brandishing."

If he just moved it from the glove box to his lap and didn't brandish it, how'd the other driver know he had it?

Technosavant
July 25, 2005, 05:39 PM
Moral of the story:

If you need to display a firearm because somebody is threatening you with a weapon, 1) don't follow the jerk thereafter, 2) get a good description of the offender, because 3) you need to be the FIRST one to call the police, preferably with that good description of the offender. Following the guy just makes you look like you were spoiling for a fight, and that is probably what ended up getting the guy arrested more than anything else.

Cesiumsponge
July 25, 2005, 06:08 PM
Of course, arrest the guy with the gun because he escalated this entire situation from words to brandishing weapons. If it wasn't for his pistol, the two would only briefly exchange words, shake hands, and part ways with a greater understanding of the meaning of life. :rolleyes:

-Guy with the flashlight:
hmm, I'm gonna shut this guy up. If I pull this big metal object out, I'll get the upperhand since he has nothing! *pulls out flashlight*

-guy with firearm:
"uhoh, looks like he means business, he pulled out something big and black" *reaches over to chamber a round in his legally obtained gun*

-guy with flashlight:
"doh! he one upped me, run!"

-guy with gun:
*follows flashlightboy so he can get description and license of vehicle to report to police, is on the phone meanwhile*

-guy with flashlight:
*sees cop, pulls over ahead of gunguy. Gets out "help, this nut with a gun is chasing me!" *wins*

You know...because the guy with the gun is always the aggressor and the actions of the opposing party are completely nullified.

Feanaro
July 25, 2005, 06:31 PM
If he just moved it from the glove box to his lap and didn't brandish it, how'd the other driver know he had it?

I believe they call it a window. You can see through it. More seriously, imagine you are pulled up beside a car, say on the driver's side, to admonish the driver(for whatever reason). Who are you looking at? The driver. If he leans over, opens the glove compartment, makes his pistol ready, and then places it in his lap... how are you NOT going to see it?

Double Maduro
July 25, 2005, 06:32 PM
Morris allegedly showed a long black object.

Anybody else think they would have said it looked like a shotgun?

DM

yorec
July 25, 2005, 07:01 PM
What good is it if it doesn't go BANG when you pull the trigger?

If I remember correctly a CZ75 is double action capable... so unless he was carrying without one in the chamber and the "cocking" aciton was actually catching up to put a round in it's proper place, the action of drawing the hammer back was unneccessary and could very well be construed as threatening. Doh! :uhoh:

On the other hand if he was catching up by finally placing a round in the chamber upon confrontation with the big nasty black club... See first sentence.

Proper action/non action in the face of such encounters is what keeps people out of trouble. Mr. CCW need more education/tactical trainning. Hope he gets a chance to obtain such knowledge in the future as he may very well have lost the opportunity to use it... :(

Should have been on the phone as soon as the guy left. Pursuit is not a good idea - who knows what other weaponry the dude had in his car? Looking for trouble by pursuing - and it will be made to appear he was continuing the threat, true or false.

sully
July 25, 2005, 07:08 PM
IMHO, One should not have been in such a situation in the first place. Why did he stop??? Some of the very basic rules of self defense are don't put yourself in bad situations, and if you find yourself in a bad situation then what are you still doing there.

CY6,
Greg Sullivan "Sully"
Chief Instructor
www.TheDefensiveEdge.com

Tman
July 25, 2005, 07:15 PM
I think Shea would have felt threatened. Here is a man who followed him, comes to his car window with a long flashlight DURING DAYTIME (before 6PM). I wonder how this is going to turn out.

Mannlicher
July 25, 2005, 07:15 PM
Sounds like the real life version of "Dumb and Dumber" What a couple of bozos.

El Tejon
July 25, 2005, 07:15 PM
Sully, amen, brother. BTW, used one of your stocks at a Rogers carbine class. It rocks. :cool:

What--arrested the CCWer? Whatever for? I'm certain the po-po surely meant to give him a community service award.

But, but doesn't the possess of a CCW license allow one to act like Batman and chase down evildoers delivering fast Judo chops? :confused:

Problem #2 rears its ugly head.

mnrivrat
July 25, 2005, 07:26 PM
It gets fuzzy after Flashlight Guy left the scene and Gun Guy started following him. That starts looking like an aggressive action on HIS part.

Actualy that's not fuzzy in my opinion - that's where ccw holder made his biggest mistake.

If I were the LEO on this one, I would ask the flashlight guy wether he wanted to press charges - if he said yes , I would remind him that I would also be charging him with terroristic threats . ( a degree of assualt in my state anyway ). If he then decided to drop the matter I would explain to each what they did wrong and send them on their way, hoping they both learned something.

Geno
July 25, 2005, 07:39 PM
This example of pulling from glovebox to lap is the very reason I carry up-front, in-the-pant holster, under my shirt.

I can access my cocked/locked 1911 without anyone seeing. If need be, I could shoot throw my own shirt/jacket. I NEVER CARRY IN BRIEFCASE OR GLOVEBOX. This also answers someone's recent post about hammer down on a 1911 or empty-chamber carry: Never!

I always carry fully loaded, cocked, locked, up-front, and ALWAYS CONCEALED!!!

Joejojoba111
July 25, 2005, 07:53 PM
Perhaps Shae was 'following' the other guy because that was the way Shae wanted to go? It does say specifically that he was not intently following, so he probably kept well back.

Alternatively perhaps he doesn't have a cell-phone (gasp), and simply wanted to, while driving safely and following at a safe distance, aquire the license plate number of the flashlight assaulter (assault=threat and battery=action, right?).

Standing Wolf
July 25, 2005, 08:08 PM
Pull over for a little heart-to-heart chat with somebody who doesn't like my driving and wants to get physical about it?

Not in this lifetime or the next umpty-dozen!

Pilgrim
July 25, 2005, 08:21 PM
I think Shea's biggest blunder was following the other guy.
Perhaps it was showing his 'trump card' too soon.

Pilgrim

Hawkmoon
July 25, 2005, 08:33 PM
Shea's biggest mistake was not being the first to call 9-1-1. If he had called and told the police that another driver had threatened him with a club and that he was attempting to disengage but had a CCW if needed -- the police would have been there double-quick to arrest the flashlight man.

Following Morris after he had disengaged was Shea's second mistake.

pcf
July 25, 2005, 08:52 PM
Shea's mistake(s)
1. Following Morris. After pulling the pistol on Morris, Shea should not have followed Morris.
2. Shea talked to the police.

Things might have turned out differently if Shea had kept his mouth shut while Morris went over the details of everything he did wrong.

If you have to pull your CCW, you need to talk to your attorney, and then submit a statement to the police. Expensive, yes, but cheaper than posting bail.

Janitor
July 25, 2005, 09:53 PM
"Sounds like the real life version of "Dumb and Dumber" What a couple of bozos."
+1

Up to the point where Morris left the scene, each and every action on the part of both these guys escalated the situation. And to top it all off, Shea let's it appear as though he's trying to continue the confrontation after Morris breaks off?

Simply remarkable.

Joejojoba111
July 25, 2005, 09:59 PM
Hindsight is 20/20.

I've heard there are 2 ways to learn, #1 from your mistakes and #2 from other people's mistakes.

I've learned that if another driver tries to communicate, and I'm not sure what they want, I might pull over. Maybe my muffler is dragging on the pavement, or maybe the other guy has problems at work and wants to take them out on someone. If it's the former I'll thank them, if it's the latter I'll drive away, because I stopped in such a manner that driving away would not be hindered and I didn't turn the ignition off or put the transmission in park.

If I encountered the situation but had never considered it before, then I probably would make mistakes! So thank-you Mr. Shae, live and learn.

Shootcraps
July 25, 2005, 10:07 PM
when the other driver waved a long black object


Maybe Morris was just glad to see him?? :evil:

Shootcraps
July 25, 2005, 10:09 PM
A man in his car, waving a "bat or club" at a man in another car is not life threatening by any standard. All you need to do in order to de-escalate the situation is step on that little pedal under your right foot and LEAVE.

Stevie-Ray
July 25, 2005, 10:16 PM
The a 3-5 d or c cell flashlight is a deadly weapon and more deadlier then a standard billy club. There have been many documented killings by this. Sure, just ask Rodney King or Malice Green. Oh that's right, you can't.

I think flashlights have been taken very seriously ever since these 2.

MikeIsaj
July 25, 2005, 10:38 PM
Repeat after me... I will walk away from stupidity. I will not pursue it.

thatguy
July 25, 2005, 10:54 PM
To those observing that a large, heavy-duty flashlight can be a deadly weapon, you're right. But, with both men in their respective cars the club (flashlight) becomes very ineffective. If they were both on foot and one man is wielding a large flashlight, then of course it becomes a serious threat. But not in this case.

Like I said, both acted badly, but the law (rightly or wrongly) will hold the man with the gun more wrong because he was expected to show better judgment.

Sort of like a karate champion getting into a fight with a drunk in a bar. The law would hold him to a higher standard and expect him to walk away if at all possible where some leeway might be shown to some untrained boob who started swinging at the first insult.

Mad Man
July 25, 2005, 11:10 PM
Compare and contrast with this incident in Aurora (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=140917), Colorado:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1429725/posts


Off-duty cop pulls gun in road rage incident

9News.com (http://www.9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJECTID=acb98858-0abe-421a-01ca-86976b7ed79e&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf) ^ | June 24, 2005 | Chip Youst http://www.9news.com/media/2004March01051943/d904a7e7-ac1f-02d8-0057-d4bbc97c2ef7.gif (http://www.9news.com/includes/playlist.aspx?fn=http://wm.gannett.speedera.net/wm.gannett/kusa/june05/1119587552286-06-23-05-officer-roadrage-1.wmv&sp=randomize)

Posted on 06/24/2005 7:14:36 AM PDT by Millee

An Aurora Police officer is facing disciplinary action after an incident in which he pulled his gun on another motorist during an off-duty altercation on the highway.

It started with a lane change on I-225.

That's the part everyone agrees on. What everybody doesn't agree on is whether or not the officer - who was off-duty, out of uniform and driving his personal car - should have pulled his gun on the other driver.

"I put my signal on and started to merge lanes when my fiancee tells me that there's car over there," said Parker Bell. (Bell is the other motorist, not the police officer)

Bell admits he cut off the other driver. However, Bell says the other driver still had time to slow down - but wouldn't.

"The person driving this pickup then takes the shoulder - speeds past me - (and) they're just waving their hands and yelling inside their vehicle," Bell said.

Then, Bell says he got mad, too.

"I was upset and I was angry and I flicked the person in the blue pickup off," Bell said.

Bell's fiancée, Ashley Meadows, says she tried to calm Bell down.

"They were both kind of antagonizing each other - the guy would pull on the side of him and say something, or look at him or something - and then Parker would get mad and he would say something back," Meadows said.

The blue pickup exited at Alameda. Parker Bell - who says he was taking his pregnant fiancee to a doctor's appointment around the corner - got off at the same exit - pulling up behind the other driver.

Bell says he saw the man staring at him again in his rear view mirror - and that Bell again made more hand gestures.

That's when the other driver (Officer Mark Asmussen) got out of his car - gun drawn - and approached Parker Bell - who was still sitting in the driver's seat. His fiancée says she immediately reached over, rolled up Parker's window and locked the doors.

"When I saw the gun, I was like: 'Oh my God - he's going to shoot him,'" Meadows said.

Turns out the other driver was an off-duty Aurora cop - but Bell and his fiancée say they didn't know that because he wasn't displaying a badge.

Ashley called 911.

Bell and Meadows say that the officer pulled on the door and told Parker to open it and show him his driver's license. Only after trying unsuccessfully to open Bell's car door does Bell say that the officer showed his badge.

Ashley's 911 call appears to back up that account.

But Aurora Police Chief Terry Jones says the officer, Mark Asmussen, has a different story.

"The officer indicates that as soon as he got out of his truck he held his badge out and approached the car with the badge in front of his body," Jones says.

And, Jones says if the officer felt threatened - as Jones says he apparently did - then he was within policy to have his gun drawn.

Bell and Meadows see no reason why the officer should have felt threatened. They say Bell was still in his car with his seat belt on, with his fiancée and his two year old son. They say at no time did Bell give any indication he was going to get out of the car.

Jones says the officer apparently didn't feel the same way. Even so, Chief Jones says Officer Asmussen could have handled things differently. He could have called in an on-duty officer to handle the situation.

"Get assistance from a marked car that's on duty and then you avoid all these circumstances," Jones said.

Asmussen is now facing discipline in the form of a write up in his file - but the discipline is not for pulling his gun.

The discipline is for the traffic ticket he wrote Parker Bell after the incident. Since Asmussen was off duty, Chief Jones says writing Bell the ticket went against department policy.

Nevertheless, the chief doesn't plan to drop the ticket against Parker Bell. He says the evidence suggests the ticket - which was for an illegal lane change - was warranted.

Bell plans on fighting the ticket in court.

Mad Man
July 25, 2005, 11:13 PM
The a 3-5 d or c cell flashlight is a deadly weapon and more deadlier then a standard billy club. There have been many documented killings by this.

Sure, just ask Rodney King or Malice Green. Oh that's right, you can't.

I think flashlights have been taken very seriously ever since these 2.



Are you implying that Rodney King was killed?

Missashot
July 26, 2005, 11:06 AM
I have been involved in road rage incidents before. Normally it starts over something really lame and just escalates from there. I try to be more careful now. I have never pulled my gun on anyone in a situation like that. I hope that I never have to; because when I took my CWP class that was one of the things that the instructor pushed. "Pull your gun only if you are ready to kill someone". I just try to keep in mind that I don't know what kind of day the other person has had. Never know what mental state they are in. As for me I will try to be the bigger person and be a little more forgiving just so that I don't have to deal with these situations.

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