Cops: Road rage incident leads to pepper spraying
CENTER TOWNSHIP — State police at Indiana said a road rage incident Wednesday led to several people being hit with pepper spray.
Police said three Homer-Center High students were traveling east on 11th Street in Lucernemines at 3:15 p.m. when the driver of a white Toyota started tailgating the students’ vehicle. When the students’ vehicle stopped at a stop sign, the driver made an obscene gesture to the tailgating driver, police reported.
The driver of the Toyota, identified by police as Matthew Jon Hilty, 38, of Lucernemines, pulled in front of the students’ vehicle by driving into a yard. When the students got out of their vehicle at a residence, Hilty got into an argument with the other driver.
Police said other people came to the scene and Hilty told them he was a former state police trooper and had a badge in his car. He went to his vehicle and returned with a pepper spray fogger that he waved at people in the small group. When a parent started to question Hilty, he pointed the spray container at her, police say. When she tried to knock it away from his hand, she struck him.
Police said Hilty then started to douse the group with pepper spray.
According to police, Hilty retreated to his vehicle when another person in the group sprayed him with her personal defense pepper spray.
Hilty tried to leave the area when state police were called but he was blocked in by people at the scene.
Hilty was charged with misdemeanor counts of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and impersonating a public servant and summary criminal counts of harassment, disorderly conduct and summary vehicle code violations for reckless driving and driving with a suspended or revoked license.