A road rage incident in Marion County led to the arrest of a 39-year-old man after he was accused of reaching into a vehicle and punching a teenager in the face.
On Saturday, October 28, shortly before 1:45 p.m., a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the 17700 block of SE 155th Avenue in Weirsdale in reference to a verbal altercation and traffic accident.
Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with the 17-year-old victim who stated that he was driving his car in the area while “searching for an address.” He stated that he then noticed a vehicle approaching his car from behind, and the driver of the vehicle – identified as Christopher Lee Gallagher – began following him closely and honking the horn, according to the arrest report.
According to the victim, Gallagher began “driving reckless” and used the shoulder of the roadway in an attempt to pass the victim’s car. The victim told the deputy that he then accelerated, which prevented Gallagher from passing him.
The victim advised that Gallagher proceeded to enter the oncoming lane and passed the victim’s car while traveling at a high rate of speed. Gallagher then moved in front of the victim’s car and “slammed on his brakes,” which nearly caused a collision, according to the report.
After both vehicles stopped in the middle of the roadway, the victim advised that Gallagher exited his vehicle and approached the victim who was still sitting in the driver’s seat of his car. The victim stated that Gallagher then reached through the driver’s side window while yelling obscenities and struck him twice, according to the report.
The deputy noted that the first punch allegedly struck the victim on the left side of his head, near his temple, and the second punch struck his left forearm. After being punched, the victim stated that he accidentally released his foot from the brake pedal, which caused his car to roll into the rear of Gallagher’s vehicle.
The deputy spoke with two witnesses who were passengers in the victim’s vehicle. The report stated that they both provided statements that were consistent with the victim’s statement.
Another witness, Gallagher’s spouse, was also interviewed by the deputy. She was traveling with Gallagher at the time of the incident, and she advised that she saw her spouse get out of their vehicle and approach the victim’s car.
Gallagher’s spouse told the deputy that she did not see the alleged punches that were thrown by her spouse because she was “putting her shoes on.” When she looked over at the victim’s car, she stated that she observed her spouse and the victim “moving their arms around,” according to the report.
The deputy made contact with Gallagher who claimed that the victim “kept accelerating and abruptly slowing down for no apparent reason.” Gallagher stated that the victim “flipped him off” when he honked the horn, and he admitted to approaching the victim’s vehicle after they were both stopped in the middle of the roadway.
Gallagher further admitted to leaning in through the victim’s open window, and he stated he got “nose-to-nose” with the victim while yelling. After being read his Miranda rights, Gallagher denied punching the victim and stated that the incident was just a “verbal argument,” according to the report.
Gallagher was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and he was released the same day on $25,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for burglary with assault or battery.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.