Archive for Monday, June 24, 2013

Olathe man arrested, charged with threatening motorists with handgun on K-10

June 24, 2013


Lawrence crime, fire, courts coverage
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A 40-year-old Olathe man has been charged with aggravated assault after two Eudora women reported being threatened with a gun on Kansas Highway 10.

An 18-year-old Eudora woman reported that she was driving east on K-10, just outside the Lawrence city limits, when someone in another vehicle threatened her and a passenger in her car with a handgun. Deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office investigated and arrested Alfonzo R. Smith about 4 p.m. Sunday at his home in Olathe.

Smith was booked into Douglas County Jail Sunday and appeared in Douglas County District Court Monday afternoon, via video from the jail. Douglas County prosecutors charged him with aggravated assault, a felony that can carry a sentence of probation or up to 34 months in prison, depending on a person's criminal history.

Prosecutors said Smith appeared to have no criminal record. Pro Tem Judge James George set bond in the case at $7,500, and Smith is scheduled to appear in court again on July 3.


Garth Atchison 4 years, 11 months ago

Take his gun and his car away--for a very long time.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 11 months ago

probation. wanna bet?
whatta slug.

Fonzie should go away to the big house.

gatekeeper 4 years, 11 months ago

Guaranteed probation. Was just at a meeting with DA Branson and he went over sentencing guidelines. With no priors, he will get probation. Unless you sell weed and don't have a tax stamp or actually physically hurt someone, all you'll ever get is probation. KS sentencing guidelines suck! Thanks KS house of reps for setting some really crappy sentencing guidelines.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

If he has a concealed carry, they better take it away from him. Another "responsible" gun owner.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

There is only ever one reason to point a gun and I doubt it would be appropriate here. However, I'd like to see printed what led to the confrontation, not only because it seems like good journalism, but so people have an idea how quickly a gesture or whatever can lead to what might be a deadly situation. I can't imagine anyone that isn't already known to be mentally ill would point a gun at people for no reason.

Charlie Bannister 4 years, 11 months ago

Classic road rage sounds like. Since you folks at the LJW don't seem to care for what I post on here and see fit to remove my comments, I will certainly remember that come newspaper renewal time. Adios.

bad_dog 4 years, 11 months ago

When exactly does "newspaper renewal time" occur? Perhaps it's a rite of Spring?

Sure hope I didn't miss the whole season...

Fatty_McButterpants 4 years, 11 months ago

Given that most young drivers do not know the rules of the road, thanks to education cuts eliminating such things as driver's education, it is understandable that one could get upset over the way that they tailgate, fail to yield the passing lane, etc., but that does NOT excuse the behavior alleged here.

bevy 4 years, 11 months ago

The poor driving behaviors you mentioned are also, alas, not confined to 18 year olds.

UfoPilot 4 years, 11 months ago

And just how are they supposed to prove that he did this in court?

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 11 months ago

Pointing a gun at another car while driving is illegal in the state of Kansas? That what we call a Texas turn signal.

What about the 2nd amendment?!?!

George_Braziller 4 years, 11 months ago

Wasn't there another incident similar to this on K-10 fairly recently? I remember reading about it but I can't recall any of the details.

kawrivercrow 4 years, 11 months ago

Let's say, hypothetically, the girls genuinely felt their life was in danger. Let's say they had their own firearm...let's make it a legal CCW situation for the sake of argument. At what point would they be justified in firing (with intent to kill) in this setting?

Any educated CCWers or attorneys have any serious insight into this question?

Would it change anything if the victim of harassment was a lone male with a shotgun, coming back from a skeet shoot?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

It depends a little bit on local laws.

But, generally, self defense claims have rested on a reasonable fear for one's life, and that the use of deadly force is the only option.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"At what point would they be justified in firing (with intent to kill) in this setting?"

At the moment they believed the man had the ability and the intention of physically harming them and could later justify that belief to a jury.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago


You have to reasonably fear for your life, not just that somebody may harm you.

Otherwise, you could pull out a gun and kill somebody who hits you, claiming self defense.

Or, even worse, somebody who looks at you funny and you think might hit you.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"who hits you, claiming self defense."

But that isn't the point, fear of bodily harm is grounds enough to fear for one's life. Sure, some guy might just beat you up, but what are you going to do laying on the ground as he stomps your head in?

That's where the jury comes in. You seem to have missed that part.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

No, they have to justify to the jury that they reasonably feared for their life, not just that they feared harm.

These distinctions are hard to make, and hard to make well, but they're essential.

You're allowed to use force that's reasonably necessary to deal with the threat, and that varies from situation to situation. In fact, you're not allowed to escalate - in other words, if somebody hits you, and you break a bottle and slash them, I've seen judges dismiss the claim of self-defense, and order the slasher to pay medical damages of the other person.

Your formulation doesn't even involve actual harm, just the "belief" in ability and intention, so it could apply before anything actually happened, ie. he looked at me funny and I believed he was going to hurt me. Except in cases where that's completely clear, like a bunch of guys with bats blocking your exit from an alley, it probably doesn't work that well as a self defense claim - it's "pre-emptive" self defense.

I think it's because we want people to be able to defend themselves, but we don't want people killing other people unless it's really necessary. And, we don't want to justify "he looked at me funny, so I beat him up in self defense".

50YearResident 4 years, 11 months ago

Don't ass-u-me that this guy was a concealed permit holder, thank you.

Choton 4 years, 11 months ago

Reminds me of the following news item I saw on the BBC News website this morning:

Germany motorway shooter 'motivated by bad driving' Police in Germany say the man they have arrested over more than 700 motorway shootings fired at other vehicles because of anger over bad driving.

Alceste 4 years, 11 months ago

"Threatened". Is this manner of "threatening" any different than the motorist on K-10 tailgating you....perhaps 20 feet behind one's moving vehicle travelling at a 72mph rate of speed ......flashing their lights and gesticulating for one to move over to another lane?

Seems to Alceste they're both pretty similar. Bottom line is motoring on K-10 is a "...take your life in your hands.....' event.....

bad_dog 4 years, 11 months ago

bad_dog really dislikes comments that reference their author in the 3rd person ;-)

Having said that, bad_dog has no business in the left lane unless he's passing someone. Some folks (I like to refer to them as "divine rightists") seem to believe they have no obligation to ever leave the left lane if they are driving at or somewhat near the speed limit. Wrong. It's the law in Kansas. KSA 8-1522 (c). Stay out of the passing lane unless you are overtaking/passing and you won't have nearly as many incidents of lights flashing and gesticulating.

dlkrm 4 years, 11 months ago

When someone threatens your life, the answer to "were you shooting to injure or shooting to kill?" is "neither, I was shooting to stop him."

bearded_gnome 4 years, 11 months ago

given training for CCW, likely gun dude was not CCW.

I hope the young ladies recover from the trauma of this. having a gun pointed at you in this situation had to be terrifying.

Alceste 4 years, 10 months ago

bad_dog opines above: "Stay out of the passing lane unless you are overtaking/passing and you won't have nearly as many incidents of lights flashing and gesticulating."

Many at time a motorist gets "stuck" in the "passing lane" on K-10 due to the congestion in the right lane.

The bottom line is that those exceeding the speed limit....many times by 15-20mph.....are, essentially, "aggravated assaulting....." when they are so close to the rear end of a car. It is intimidating, threatening, and violent. Aggressive citation writing relative to following too closely (Alceste knows the bad dog can cite that statute too....) needs to occur along with out and out arrests for assault......

bad_dog 4 years, 10 months ago

"...needs to occur along with out and out arrests for assault......"

Not only can I cite to the statutes regarding passing, I can also cite to those addressing simple/aggravated assault (KSA 21-3408/3410). Good luck with enforcing that, much less getting a conviction. If you believe someone following too closely placed you in "...reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm", I question your definition of "reasonable" as well as your characterization of an auto as a "deadly weapon" under those circumstances. Perhaps we should require motorists obtain a concealed carry permit for their drivers licenses.

The only time I've ever seen someone "stuck" in the passing lane on K-10 was in the area of the K-7 junction during rush hour when many cars are entering K-10 via on ramps. Aside from that, it's the clueless, the inconsiderate and the "Divine Rightists" that cause problems by choosing to permanently reside in the passing lane. As far as I'm concerned, if you are in the left lane and passing another vehicle; fine. Just "get 'er done". Aside from that, get over and out of the way of faster traffic. IMHO, by doing so you're less likely to feel intimidated, threatened or perceive violence at every turn.

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

It's still true that the speed limit applies even when passing, right?

So, somebody passing at the speed limit is correct, while the person behind them who wants to go 20 miles faster than that and is tailgating them is incorrect.

As far as practicality goes, I agree - pass and get back in the slower lane and let the speed demons speed away from you.

bad_dog 4 years, 10 months ago

In response to your question jafs, yes, speed limits do apply and the person abiding by that limit is correct with respect to that aspect of their driving. Speed limits don't, however trump other traffic laws; particularly those intended to minimize road rage creating scenarios.

People driving at all points on the speed spectrum including those 10-15 mph below the speed limit choose to reside in the passing lane. It's called the "passing lane" for a reason. That's all I'm advocating; pass & get over-not speeding. I'm not worried about how fast someone else behind me wants to drive. That's what the "Divine Rightists" get hung up on. "I'm driving at or near the legal limit and the car behind me wants to pass so they can go faster than the limit. Speeding is illegal, therefore no one else can make me move from the passing lane just so they can speed."

Meanwhile the person behind the "Divine Rightist" begins the slow burn when they see the driver in front has opportunities to yield the lane, yet refuses/speeds up slightly and the sado/masochistic rite begins anew....

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago


Except that the folks who tailgate because they want to go 90 on a 70 highway aren't angels either.

And, it's irritating to those of us who don't speed like that when we get tailgated, which can also happen in the slower lane. Driving a little slower than somebody else likes may be annoying, but it's not dangerous, while tailgating at highway speeds is dangerous.

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