Drivers' dispute leads to assault charge, deputies say - FOX Carolina 21

Drivers' dispute leads to assault charge, deputies say

Posted: Updated:
Walter Barnette (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office) Walter Barnette (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)

Deputies said a teenage driver was arrested after he assaulted and threatened a man who cut him off along Hwy 9 in Boiling Springs before he got on Interstate 85 Monday night.

Mark Gilbert said he and his family were on their way to dinner when they saw an erratic driver taunting another driver near the I-85 exit ramp. So, he said he drove around him.

"We went around he tried to block us and then we just passed him and got on I-85," Gilbert said.

However, once on the interstate, investigators said the driver, 19-year-old Walter Barnette, then followed the Gilberts.

"He just flew up and started blinking lights and shooting the finger and everything," Gilbert said.

He said they hopped on I-26 and headed toward the Hwy 29 exit.

"As we went to get off on 29, he sped up and swerved over like he was going to hit us," Gilbert said.

That's when Gilbert said Barnette tossed a battery through his open car window and hit him in the face.

"I'm just glad he didn't hit the kids," Gilbert said.

He said he then followed Barnette to get his license plate number and ended up in a mobile home park behind Academy Sports. He said that's where Barnette jumped out of his car with a tire iron. 

Gilbert told Barnette he had call 911, prompting  Barnette to flee, deputies said. Gilbert was able to get a tag number and gave it to deputies who located the driver at his house.

Spartanburg County deputies said they were then called to a lot near Reidville and Anderson Mill roads about 9:30 p.m. to take the report.

Barnette was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and battery.

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