Spokane man shoots at snow plow driver Bad? Good?
A few days ago, there was some sort of "plow" rage incident here in Spokane:
KXLY.com: News, Weather and Sports for Spokane, WA and Coeur d'Alene, ID | Plow driver packing a pistol for protection
This case just took an interesting turn, (did you catch it!?), the plow driver confessed to assaulting the man:
SPOKANE -- A Spokane plow driver who dodged a bullet on Monday says he's now carrying a gun to protect himself.
Steve Smith has joined a growing list of plow operators who say they've become victims of people afflicted with snow rage.
The man accused of shooting at Smith, Zachary Hunt, was in court Tuesday where a court commissioner found probable cause to hold Hunt on a 1st Degree Assault charge after Hunt allegedly pointed a loaded gun at Smith and fired a shot at him.
"I had no idea that I brought my fists to a gunfight, it's just not something that crossed my mind at the time," Smith said.
Steve Smith was back at work Tuesday after mixing it up with an angry driver in a North Spokane industrial park Monday. Smith says he was plowing snow when Zachary Hunt almost backed into him.
The two men hopped out of their trucks and squared off in the parking lot.
"I was ready to fight, I was ready to box the guy, I was mad, he was mad, I felt that after he went after my truck the only way to solve it was for somebody to be laying in the snow," Smith said.
But instead of resorting to fisticuffs Hunt allegedly pulled a .45 caliber pistol.
"I pushed him and drew back to punch him and as soon as I did that the gun came out, he came right up on me and I stepped back and he said ‘Now you've got a problem' and as soon as I saw the barrel of that gun I ducked my head and as soon as I ducked he shot and I was back in my truck and on the phone," Smith said.
Hunt, whose parents are retired law enforcement officers, says he only fired the gun into this snow bank as a warning shot.
"He pointed it at my face and as soon as he did that I ducked," Smith said.
Smith says he heard the bullet whiz by his ear and was glad a gun he usually has stashed in his plow was in a different truck the day of the shooting.
"I'm not looking to shoot nobody, that's not a life's experience I'm looking to chalk up on my board but yeah, yesterday if I would have had my gun it would have been a different situation," he said.
Smith says he's not the only driver worried about getting hurt and wishes motorists would give plows a little more room to work in the future.
What an idiot! I think the police just lost their case. People need to learn to keep their mouths shut. If I were the prosecutor, I would charge the plow driver with assault too. Two idiot hot heads in the snow...
"I was ready to fight, I was ready to box the guy, I was mad, he was mad, I felt that after he went after my truck the only way to solve it was for somebody to be laying in the snow," Smith said...I pushed him and drew back to punch him and as soon as I did that the gun came out..."
Washington State law has some fairly wide allowances for personal defense and this case is getting more and more murky.
here is one of the State statues:
RCW 9A.16.020: Use of force ? When lawful.
Use of force — When lawful.
(3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;
RCW 9A.16.050: Homicide ? By other person ? When justifiable.
Does a fist fight in the snow amount to "imminent danger of great personal injury"? Is drawing and firing a handgun a necessary amount of force? That is certainly up for debate.
Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:
(1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE WITHOUT YOUR LAWYER. DO NOT TALK TO THE MEDIA. DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE (even defensive carry...:nono:)