After road rage spiraled him out of control during Friday’s massive traffic snarl, a Bellaire man faces two to 20 years in prison for allegedly pulling a gun on another driver who made him angry.
“We’re just glad no one was injured and we were able to get him in custody without him or the officers being injured,” said Bellaire Police spokesman Tim Quimby.
Quimby said the Bellaire Police Department was getting frequent furious calls from motorists stuck in traffic because of an overturned, leaking gasoline tanker that forced emergency personnel to close Loop 610 nearly all day.
But the incident involving 67-year-old Nolan Keller was the most extreme by far. When people called 911 reporting a man with a gun, officers responded to Keller’s home in the 5300 block of Evergreen Street around 4:20 p.m.
“Traffic was backing up, people were trying to get around the city,” Quimby said. “He got irate with someone stopped too long at a stop sign at Evergreen and Ferris. He said some profanity at her, basically. While that person was walking their dog by the house, he went and got a rifle and pointed it at them.”
Although traffic made it difficult, officers arrived at Keller’s home relatively quickly and found the man in his backyard with the gun leaning against his house. Quimby said Keller told police he had been gardening and didn’t do anything, but multiple witnesses told police they saw Keller point the weapon at the woman walking her dog.
“I think personally, since it happened with all the traffic, a lot of people can’t take that type of stress,” Quimby said. “We were getting calls all day, people telling us they were going to jump the curb and run over stuff.”
Police charged Keller with 2nd degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The sentence for the charge ranges from two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, said Assistant District Attorney Donna Hawkins.