Sheriff: Man pointed gun at off duty state trooper on 85, seven guns taken from SUV | Crime
SALISBURY - What deputies are calling an incident of road rage resulted in one man losing seven guns and his concealed weapons permit.
According to the report, an off duty trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol was riding with his girlfriend in their personal vehicle on Interstate 85 in Rowan County just south of Innes Street in Salisbury on Friday when a man in an SUV pulled up close behind them, then suddenly pulled his Ford Expedition to the left and came along side the trooper.
The trooper says the driver, later identified as Richard Stevenson Miller, Jr., 44, of Darrell Whitley Lane in Salisbury, stared at the trooper and made "threatening gestures" with his hands. The trooper says Miller then pulled away but that he was changing lanes in an unsafe manner and not yielding to other cars on the interstate.
The trooper pulled back up beside the SUV. He says that's when Miller pulled a Glock 23 handgun and pointed it at the trooper and his girlfriend. The trooper called 911, then got behind the Expedition.
According to the report, Miller then exited I-85 at Peach Orchard Road, ran the stop sign at the end of the exit ramp, then drove down Peach Orchard towards Highway 29. The trooper says he then saw Miller run the stop sign at the end of Peach Orchard, and head towards Salisbury on 29 at speeds exceeding 70 miles an hour.
Miller then turned left against a red light and in front of oncoming traffic at Airport Road, according to the report. At this point NCSHP troopers were able to pull Miller over near Airport Loop.
A deputy with the Rowan County Sheriff's Office reported that Miller had the smell of alcohol. Miller told the deputy he had consumed "a beer or two" and had just left East Coast Wings in Salisbury.
Deputies and troopers then searched the SUV, finding seven guns, including a Ruger .380, a Glock 23, a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, a Remington 700 rifle, a Marlin .22 rifle, a Beretta 12gauge shotgun, and a Winchester 30-30. Several magazines, ammunition boxes, and holsters were also found in the SUV.
Miller did produce a concealed carry weapon permit. That permit was seized and is now suspended. North Carolina restrictions for concealed carry state that owners may not carry weapons if they have consumed alcohol.
When asked why he was carrying so many weapons, Miller told investigators that he had been the victim of a home break in and felt it was safer to carry the guns in his SUV. When asked why he pointed the gun at the trooper, Miller told deputies that he had been involved in a road rage incident in Virginia and thought he was being chased.
Miller was charged with two counts of assault by pointing a gun at the trooper and his girlfriend, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, and one count of aggressive driving.
Miller was released on bond.