A Blaine County man was charged with a felony this week for allegedly breaking another man's nose in a Christmas Day road-rage incident in Sun Valley.
Forty-five-year-old Rodolfo Olayo was initially charged with misdemeanor battery, but the charge was upgraded to felony aggravated battery on Monday by the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
The difference between misdemeanor battery and felony battery is based on the degree of injury suffered by a victim. Prosecutors have a tendency to charge a felony when the victim suffers traumatic injury such as broken bones.
Olayo made an initial court appearance Monday in Blaine County Magistrate Court. Judge R. Ted Israel scheduled a preliminary hearing for Jan. 18.
According to court records, Olayo has not been arrested. He was issued a misdemeanor citation following the incident and before the complaint against him was amended to a felony.
A probable-cause affidavit filed by Sun Valley Patrolman William Reis states that the incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. on Dec. 25. Reis wrote that Olayo allegedly punched 42-year-old Nedguer Roman in the face twice in an altercation in the parking lot at the Sun Valley post office. Reis reported that Roman did not strike back and suffered "bilateral nasal bridge fractures" and a cut lip.
Roman, who called 911 after being allegedly punched, was transported by Ketchum Fire Department ambulance to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center for treatment.
Sun Valley Assistant Police Chief Mike Crawford reported last week that both men were northbound on state Highway 75 when the road-rage incident occurred in the vicinity of Elkhorn Road. Crawford said Olayo claimed he became upset because Roman was tailgating him and passed him in an unsafe manner.
According to police reports, Olayo then followed Roman through Ketchum and into Sun Valley via Sun Valley Road before the confrontation near the post office.
Sun Valley Police Chief Cameron Daggett said both men live at The Meadows Mobile Park south of Ketchum but that the two were not previously acquainted.
Terry Smith: email@example.com