Man suspect of assault in road-rage incident
A Grand Junction man was arrested early Friday morning in a road-rage incident in which he allegedly punched another motorist several times in the face and broke the man’s jaw.
Paul James Turner, 34, 643 Longs Peak Court, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, child abuse and obstructing a peace officer. He’s being held without bond in the Mesa County Jail pending his first court appearance.
According to an arrest affidavit, 19-year-old Chris Clark told Mesa County Sheriff’s Department deputies he left his house with a friend around 1:30 a.m. to drive the friend back to his house in the 3200 block of East Hall Court. Clark told deputies he saw a truck driving north on 32 Road and swerving, so he passed the truck on the left and merged back in front of it.
Clark said the truck sped up to within a few feet of his car and followed him to his friend’s apartment. He said the truck driver approached his car as he was getting out and punched him twice on the left side of his face, then punched him twice more, the affidavit said.
Clark said he told the man he was going to call police if the man didn’t leave. The man then punched him one more time, breaking his jaw and causing his mouth to bleed. The man then got back into his truck and left the area while Clark’s friend called 911.
“Chris told me he had never met the male before and did not know why he was tailgating him,” a deputy wrote in the affidavit. “Chris said he could tell the man was intoxicated because he was unsteady on his feet and was slurring his words.”
Deputies who were already in the area before the assault found Turner fleeing from his truck on foot but caught up to him and arrested him.
Deputies also contacted Turner’s wife, who was in the truck with him along with their two children. Turner’s wife told deputies her husband had been drinking at a friend’s house, and he became upset when another vehicle was tailgating them, the affidavit said. She said after the assault, Turner turned off the truck’s headlights, told her to drive and fled on foot, the affidavit said.