Road-rage `victim’ fined for conduct |

Road-rage `victim’ fined for conduct

Aspen Times Staff Report

A Rifle man who was the alleged victim of a RFTA bus driver’s road rage accepted blame Friday for his role in the altercation.

Gerald Blackard, 53, pleaded guilty in Eagle County Court to a charge of disorderly conduct. He was fined $50 and ordered by Judge Terri Diem to pay $18 in court costs.

Blackard may face additional charges for the incident after further investigation is completed, said Deputy District Attorney Heidi McCollum. She said she couldn’t speculate on what those charges might be.

Legal proceedings against the bus driver, David Dodge, 46, were continued Friday to allow the District Attorney’s office more time for investigation. Dodge’s attorney, John VanNess, said his client will appear again Sept. 6.

McCollum said the disorderly conduct charge was pursued against Blackard because of his “admission” of making gestures and waving his arms on a public road while trying to get the bus driver to pull over.

The incident occurred June 29 when Dodge drove a bus away from a stop on Two Rivers Road. Blackard claimed Dodge cut him off, according to police reports. He said he attempted to get Dodge to pull over to talk to him about his driving.

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Blackard caught up with Dodge at a stop in El Jebel and allegedly tried to block the bus in with his vehicle, according to a report by Eagle County Deputy Rob Lawson. When that failed, Blackard got out of his vehicle at a second stop in El Jebel.

While Blackard was attempting to speak to Dodge through the bus driver’s window, the bus pulled away. Blackard complained to deputies that the bus almost struck him.

Dodge was charged later that day with reckless driving, failure to report an accident and harassment. Later in the investigation, after locating witnesses who were riding the bus, Lawson also cited Blackard.

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