Pierce County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Puyallup police officer with two crimes stemming from a road rage incident last month.
Mark Delight, 27, will be summoned to court in the next few weeks to answer charges of second-degree assault and reckless driving.
Delight purposefully smashed his unmarked car into another car and detained the driver at gunpoint after a May 31 incident on 112th Street South, according to court documents. He was off duty at the time.
Delight, a two-year member of the Puyallup Police Department, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of the criminal proceedings and an internal review, department spokesman Lt. Dave McDonald said.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department investigated the incident and sent the case to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, Mc-Donald said.
“We will be treating it like we would any other case with these facts,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Tuesday.
The incident began when Delight was slow to drive through an intersection after the light turned green, according to charging documents . The driver of a car behind him, Timothy McCreary, honked his horn at Delight in an attempt to get him moving.
Delight took exception and made an obscene gesture toward McCreary, the documents state.
Here, accounts diverge, with Delight telling a changing version of events.
He first told investigators Mc-Creary passed him in “a reckless fashion” and “slammed on his brakes,” causing Delight’s vehicle to hit the rear of McCreary’s car. McCreary then took off and Delight pursued, the officer told investigators.
“He further stated that McCreary turned his vehicle around and struck Delight’s vehicle,” the charging documents state.
Delight later changed his account, saying he purposefully ran into the side of McCreary’s vehicle as the fleeing driver was making a U-turn because he believed Mc-Creary was about to strike him, the documents state.
McCreary told a different story.
He said he was passing Delight’s car when the officer, who was not in uniform, made an obscene gesture.
Upset and wanting to retaliate in kind, McCreary said he slowed his car and was coming to a stop when Delight struck him from behind, according to the charging papers.
McCreary, not knowing Delight was a cop, saw the other driver reaching for what he thought was a weapon, so he took off, the papers state. He saw Delight following him and tried to make a U-turn to lose him, according to the charging documents.
That’s when Delight rammed his car, causing it to spin completely around before coming to a halt, the documents state.
“Delight then exited his vehicle with his gun drawn,” the papers state. “It was not until Delight had McCreary on the ground with his gun pointing at him that he (Mc-Creary) realized that Delight was a police officer.”
McDonald said he understood Delight did follow the man after some kind of altercation and was in contact with 911 at the time. Delight also called for other officers to assist him, he said.
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