Freeland driver charged in road rage incident

An 88-year-old Freeland man got so mad at a tailgater that he pulled his pickup over on Highway 525, got out and allegedly pointed a loaded gun at the other driver, court documents state.

Police say Donald E. Benofsky was intoxicated and had an open beer can in his truck at the time of the May 9 road-rage incident in Greenbank.

Prosecutors charged Benofsky in Island County Superior Court June 14 with assault in the second degree and DUI.

Police reports state that Benofsky was driving on the highway and got upset because he felt the car behind him was tailgating. He pulled to the side of the road and the other driver followed suit, who later told police he didn’t want to pass the truck.

Benofsky got out of the truck, took a shooting stance and pointed a gun at the other motorist, according to a report by a Washington State Trooper; Benofsky is also accused of pointing a knife at the man.

Police administered a breath test on Benofsky and got a reading of just over the legal limit, the reports says.

Benofsky denied pointing a gun or even having a gun. He said he had pulled over because his truck was overheating.

Benofsky’s truck was searched. Officers found a loaded .32-caliber handgun, a knife and several open beer cans, police reports state.

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