Road rage: cop pulls gun

2009-08-17 00:00

A LOCAL traffic officer and bodyguard of Msunduzi’s mayor is under investigation by police for assault and pointing a firearm during a “road rage” incident last week when he allegedly “behaved like a madman” towards three young motorists.

Gareth Brown (28), his brother, Lyndon (26) and Gareth Landsberg (26) allege their assailant — whose name is known to The Witness — placed his pistol against Lyndon’s head during the incident and shoved Gareth Brown on his chest with his rifle before slapping his face during an altercation last Wednesday night.

The gunman later allegedly chased the trio in his black Toyota RunX car until they reached the safety of the Alexandra Road police station car park where members of the SAPS were waiting to help them and managed to calm the aggressive man down.

The man insisted at the police station that Lyndon Brown — who was driving the trio’s Golf — was drunk, but when Brown underwent a breathalyser test a short while later in the presence of his attorney, Dean Strachan, as well as the bodyguard, the results showed that his alcohol level was “well under the legal limit”.

Senior superintendent Henry Budhram yesterday confirmed that the police have opened a docket and are investigating the allegations. He said the information on police computers accords with what The Witness was told.

Gareth Brown said yesterday he and his brother and Landsberg were driving along Alexandra Road at about 8 pm last Wednesday when a black RunX came up behind them flashing its lights.

Lyndon signalled out of the window that he was being “blinded” by the bright lights, but the RunX driver only came closer and carried on flashing.

“The only thing Lyndon was doing wrong was that he actually had his brights [car lights] on,” said Gareth.

He said Lyndon pulled over to let the RunX go past. It did, but then slowed down until it forced them to stop, which they did at the corner of College and Topham roads.

Gareth said he alighted and demanded to know from the RunX driver what right he had to pull them over. The man replied he was a traffic officer, but refused to produce identification.

“I pulled his keys out of the ignition and I told him I was phoning the police. He got out and started getting aggressive, shouting, and swearing. A lot was said … things got pretty heated. ”

He said he suddenly saw the man had a pistol and was pushing it against Lyndon’s head “shouting, threatening us with our lives”.

Gareth said in a state of panic all three of them threw up their hands and he dropped the ignition keys.

“He kept shouting to give him the f***ing keys.”

The gunman then produced his rifle and allegedly pushed Gareth across his chest and slapped his face.

Gareth said he managed to pick up the keys and hand them over. They then got back in their car and drove away, but moments later they realised the RunX was following them. A high speed chase ensued as they accelerated away.

“He behaved like a madman,” he said.

As they drove, Gareth called 10111 and asked police to meet them in the parking lot at Alexandra Road station. On their arrival the gunman pulled up behind them, got out and made a show of emptying the contents of both his firearms, before putting a blue light on top of his vehicle and plugging it in. He kept accusing Lyndon of being drunk.

Gareth said police behaved “very professionally” in their handling of the fracas.

Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo did not answer her cellphone yesterday nor did she respond to an SMS message inviting her to comment on the matter.

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