OXFORD TWP. – A Dec. 28 altercation between two drivers on Baldwin Rd. went from verbal to violent when pepper spray and gunfire entered the picture, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Edward Christopher Miller, 63, of Lapeer, was charged with one count of discharging a firearm from a vehicle, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
He was arraigned Dec. 30 in Rochester Hills 52-3 District Court via video from the Oakland County Jail. He was released after posting 10 percent of a $5,000 bond.
Miller is accused of firing his pistol, which he was licensed to carry, three times at a Ford Focus driven by a 55-year-old Oxford man.
After they arrived on scene, deputies located both men and took them to the substation for questioning.
According to investigators, the Oxford man said he became involved in a roadside argument after passing Miller, who was driving a Dodge Ram, on Baldwin Rd.
He said Miller began tailgating him and flashing his headlights, so he pulled over to allow Miller to pass. At that point, Miller stopped next to him and allegedly threatened him. The Oxford man admitted he responded by shooting pepper spray at Miller, according to investigators.
Following that, the Oxford man told investigators Miller produced a handgun and fired three shots at him. The Oxford man fled the scene and called 9-1-1.
Miller told investigators the Oxford man passed him on the road, then intentionally drove slowly in front of him. He said the Oxford man then pulled over, rolled down his window and they began to argue.
Miller said the Oxford man shot pepper spray at him, so he drew his pistol to get him to stop. According to investigators, Miller said the Oxford man ceased spraying when he saw the gun, but he still fired three rounds into the back window of the Focus.
Following the interviews, both Miller and the Oxford man were arrested and transported to the jail.
Witnesses reported seeing a canister spraying something from outside the Focus into the Ram. They told investigators they saw the canister go back into the Focus before they heard three shots and saw both vehicles leave the scene.
Investigators determined that physical evidence gathered from the vehicles showed the Focus was driving away as the bullets struck it. Two bullets were recovered, one from the driver’s door frame and the other from the back of the driver’s seat.
The Oxford man’s use of pepper spray remains under investigation. “Criminal charges are likely to come at the conclusion of that investigation,” investigators wrote.
Anyone who has information about this incident or witnessed any part of it is asked to contact Sheriff’s Det. Jason Louwaert at (248) 969-0369.