By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – A road rage incident on Tuesday evening, Sept. 26, led to the arrest of a Lufkin man on both felony and misdemeanor charges.
Jared Lee Waller, 35, was taken into custody and charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of driving while intoxicated after he allegedly threatened another motorist with a handgun while the two drivers were east on State Highway 7 West.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, “(The complainant) stated that he was traveling son State Highway 7 West and noticed he was coming up on a slower moving vehicle, described as a red car, in front of him. (The complainant) slowed down as he approached the vehicle and had to stay behind the vehicle for a short time as the roadway was only two lanes.”
The complainant indicated as he attempted to pass the red vehicle, the driver of the red vehicle displayed and pointed a “… silver/nickel plated handgun at him as he pulled alongside the (other) vehicle,” the affidavit stated.
Once the complainant passed the red vehicle, he called the Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) to inform them of the situation.
As HCSO deputies responded to the scene, a patrol unit with the Crockett Police Department observed the two vehicles and initiated a traffic stop on the red vehicle based on information from the HCSO dispatch.
The driver of the red vehicle was identified as Waller, and according to the affidavit, he confirmed the basic facts of the incident.
“Waller was asked about the incident and he stated that he observed a vehicle traveling faster than his vehicle going eastbound on Sate Hwy. 7. Waller claimed the vehicle, a pickup, tailgated him, meaning that he followed closely behind his vehicle. Waller stated that he felt as if an issue with the other vehicle might occur and fully assembled his Berretta 92FS 9mm handgun while operating his vehicle,” the report stated.
Waller added when the pickup truck pulled alongside to try and pass, he displayed his handgun to the driver of the other vehicle “… so he would know that he was armed and not to cause any trouble with him. Waller was asked if the other vehicle made any aggressive movements or honked and flashed headlights at him as it was reportedly tailgating. To this question, Waller stated that the vehicle did none of those things but he felt threatened because the vehicle was following too close.”
Before the HCSO deputies arrived at the scene, Waller had been detained by the Crockett Police Department. While speaking with the CPD officer, the officer noticed “… a strong odor of alcohol on Waller’s breath. Waller stated he had consumed Jägermeister (a liqueur) roughly 30 minutes prior to the traffic stop,” a separate affidavit indicated.
During a search of Waller’s vehicle, an open bottle of Jägermeister was found in the passenger area of the vehicle.
Waller was taken into custody and charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of driving while intoxicated.
The aggravated assault charge is considered a second degree felony under Texas law. According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”
The DWI charge is considered a Class B misdemeanor. According to Section 12.22 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a Class B misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $2,000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days; or both such fine and confinement.”
Waller’s total bond was set at $11,500 and was posted on Sept. 27.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.