A Florence man was arrested Sunday following an alleged road rage incident that including a thrown bottle and a knife.
Mika Mark Gergen, 43, appeared Monday before Ravalli County Justice of the Peace Jennifer Ray on felony charges of assault with a weapon and two counts of criminal endangerment.
According to the charging affidavit, Ravalli County dispatch received a report of an apparent road rage incident at about 2 p.m. Sunday on U.S. Highway 93 northbound from Stevensville.
The person making the report said he saw a pickup truck nearly sideswipe another vehicle, which had to drive over the fog lane and onto the rumble strips to avoid being struck. The pickup's driver, later identified as Gergen, allegedly threw a bottle at the other vehicle.
At the stoplight in Florence, the witness said he saw the driver leave his pickup and approach the other vehicle. The witness said the man appeared to be “threatening and intimidating.”
The other driver avoided the confrontation by driving around the pickup when the light turned green.
The responding Montana Highway Patrol trooper spoke with the man driving the other car.
That man said he first noticed Gergen’s pickup truck driving up behind him on Highway 93 “as if he were in a video game, weaving in and out of traffic.” The two exchanged the middle finger gestures and words, and Gergen allegedly steered his truck to force the other man’s car off the road, the affidavit said.
The man said that at one point, Gergen threw an open folding knife into his car. The knife allegedly hit the man in the head. The trooper saw the knife and documented a knot and laceration on the left side of the man’s head above his ear.
The man told the trooper his girlfriend was in the car at the time and was upset and scared.
Gergen was also charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, disorderly conduct and littering.
Ray set bail at $10,000.
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