A trip to Arby’s for lunch turned into a dangerous road-rage incident Thursday in Elkhorn when a driver got out of his car with a handgun and shot the tire on another man’s pickup truck.
Colton French’s wife and 2-year-old son were in the pickup at the time. French later provided his account of what occurred to police.
French, 22, who lives in Valley, said Friday that he was headed south on 204th Street and got behind a slow-moving car. He said he turned on his blinker, moved into the left lane and went around.
The driver of a 2003 Lexus IS 300 that was behind both vehicles pulled up to French’s Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup, drove alongside for a while and then swerved toward the pickup, French said. French hit the brakes and let the car pass.
At a stoplight at 204th and Veterans Drive, French said, the car pulled up next to French’s pickup and the driver rolled down his window. French cursed at him. According to French and a police report on the incident, the driver then got out of his car holding a pistol.
“I honestly didn’t know what to think in the moment,” French said.
The man shot the rear driver’s side tire, causing a flat, and drove off. French followed the car into a neighborhood long enough for his wife to take a photo of the car and get the license plate number.
Police later arrested Zachary Parker, 29, of Omaha. Parker was booked on suspicion of discharging a gun at an occupied building or vehicle, weapon use, three counts of terroristic threats — all of which are felonies — and misdemeanor criminal mischief.
After they got the photo and plate number, French pulled into the parking lot of the Menard’s along 204th. His mother came and picked up his wife and son. The family didn’t make it to Arby’s.
On Friday morning, French was waiting for a tow truck because the lug nuts on the flat were stuck, so he couldn’t get the tire off.
French said the driver had other options for expressing his displeasure besides firing a gun.
“Throw a soda at my truck, but to pull a gun and shoot it, that’s ridiculous,” he said. “Come throw an egg at my truck. I can wash that off.”