Road rage against bicyclist alleged

Theodore Rich

A Loma man was arrested on allegations that he yelled repeated insults and threats while driving behind a woman who was riding her bicycle on Main Street, challenged her to a fight, and nearly hit her with his pickup during a road-rage incident last fall.

Theodore Rich, 27, was jailed Sunday on a Grand Junction police warrant alleging felony menacing, as well as misdemeanor counts of harassment and disorderly conduct, all relating to an incident reported Oct. 18, 2012, at 9:40 p.m. by a woman who said she’d abandoned her bicycle, scared for her life, and ran into Ratekin Tower, 875 Main St., where she called 911, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The woman, 25, told officers she was riding east on Main Street when a white male driving a Ford pickup pulled up from behind, yelling insults.
She was able to record a license plate number on the truck.

The alleged abuse from the driver continued as they moved east on Main, into the Seventh Street roundabout.

“(Woman) said she exited the roundabout and immediately moved into the bike lane, but the male remained behind her continuing to yell at her to get the (expletive) out of the road,” the affidavit said. “(Woman) said at one point the male opened his door while the vehicle was in motion and challenged her to a fight. (Woman) said the male then shouted out, ‘I’ll (expletive) fight a girl.”

She said he revved the engine and gunned the truck past her for about four blocks east, before turning around and speeding back west, the affidavit said.

“(Woman) stated the truck crossed over into the eastbound lane moving at a high rate of speed then turning before contacting her,” the affidavit said. “(Woman) stated the truck came within five feet of striking her.”

She jumped off the bike, ran inside Ratekin Tower and called 911.

The woman later told police she’s a bartender “and could tell the subject was highly intoxicated,” the affidavit said.

An officer contacted the registered owner, who explained he was in the process of selling the truck to Rich. In a photo lineup, the woman said she was “80 to 90 percent sure” Rich was the suspect.

Officers were unable to locate Rich, while a family member explained they’d had limited contact and didn’t know where he was, the affidavit said.

Rich was allegedly involved in an accident Oct. 26, 2012, driving the same pickup, and charged with careless driving. A warrant issued Jan. 18 alleged he failed to appear in court on that case. He was driving on a revoked license on Oct. 26.


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