Wednesday, December 29, 2010

‘Road rage’ leads to battery charge

Police seeking felony against alleged assailant

A Blaine County man may be charged with felony battery for allegedly punching another man in the face on Christmas Day in the parking lot near the Sun Valley Post Office.

Sun Valley Assistant Police Chief Mike Crawford identified the suspect as Rodolfo Olayo, a 45-year-old man who lives south of Ketchum. Crawford said the incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m.

"It started out as a road rage incident south of Ketchum near the hospital," Crawford said.

He said Olayo claimed that the alleged victim "tailgated" him on state Highway 75 and passed him inappropriately, so Olayo followed the man until he stopped at the post office.

"They had a lively discussion and then Rodolfo hit him, once in the nose and once in the mouth," Crawford said.

The alleged victim immediately called police and Olayo was confronted near the Sun Valley Lodge, where Crawford said Olayo was issued a citation charging him with misdemeanor battery.

Crawford said the victim was transported by Ketchum Fire Department ambulance to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center and that police are reconsidering the charge as a felony after learning that the man suffered a broken nose.

"We're thinking it might go that way," Crawford said. "We're consulting with the prosecutor. We cited him [Olayo] with a misdemeanor, but the injuries may warrant a felony."

Terry Smith:

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