A Southwest Missouri man was charged in an alleged road rage incident Sunday on Interstate 44.
According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Austin F. Coombs, 18, Ava, flourished a handgun at a tractor-trailer driver near the 232-mile marker before the suspect exited the interstate at Stanton. The incident occurred at 2:45 p.m.
Coombs was charged Monday in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with unlawful use of a weapon, a felony. He is being held in the Franklin County Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond.
Authorities said the driver of a semi-tractor trailer reported a male driving a maroon Chevrolet pickup flourished a black handgun at him while on I-44.
A description of the suspect and vehicle plate number was given by the caller. When a deputy arrived, the suspect’s truck was located parked at the Golden Bear Fireworks, located in the 2600 block of South Service Road East. Coombs was standing near the tailgate of the suspect vehicle.
Coombs told the deputy the driver of the tractor-trailer cut him off twice and made a hand gesture toward him when he passed by, the sheriff’s office said.
Coombs said he felt threatened by the gesture which caused him to put his hand on his handgun. Prior to the deputy’s arrival, Coombs had put the handgun in the center console of the truck. Ammunition for the handgun was in the glove box when the deputy searched the vehicle.
After speaking to the caller, the deputy placed Coombs under arrest.
Ava is located southeast of Springfield.