Charges against a man accused of assaulting a female couple in a fit of road rage have been dropped — and one of the women has been charged in a different road rage incident.
The convoluted story comes out of Bend, Ore., where Jay Allen Barbeau, 49, was accused of beating Megan Stackhouse, 34, and Lucinda Mann, 26, after they pulled their vehicle in front of his as they were leaving a festival in the city June 1.
Barbeau was charged with one count of criminal mischief, one count of reckless driving, and three counts of assault. The women said he twisted Stackhouse’s arm until it broke and shoved Mann to the ground, leaving her with a concussion and a neck injury. They also said he smashed their car’s rear window and one of its taillights.
But Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel dropped all charges against Barbeau Monday because he did not find the couple’s account credible, reports Bend newspaper The Bulletin.
“Witnesses have stated Mann fell to the ground unassisted and feigned injury, and that Stackhouse broke her arm slamming it on the hood of Barbeau’s lifted Toyota Tundra,” the paper reports. “Hummel said he still believed Barbeau committed the crimes of reckless driving and criminal mischief, but in the end decided the 11 days Barbeau spent in jail and the attention he received from the news coverage were punishment enough.”
The story made national news, and the women raised thousands of dollars for their medical expenses through a crowdfunding campaign, The Bulletin notes.
Now Stackhouse has been charged with punching a woman in a road rage incident May 13. She was arraigned Tuesday on one count of fourth-degree assault for allegedly striking Cheryl Norton, 55, once in the face after hitting Norton’s car, The Bulletin reports. Norton told the paper the punch broke her jaw and caused a previous injury to flare up.
Stackhouse appeared in court wearing a soft cast on her right arm, and she refused to speak to reporters as she left. She was assigned a public defender, and she has until July 18 to enter a plea. Judge Beth Bagley ordered her to avoid contact with Norton.
Hummel told The Bulletin he’s considering charging Stackhouse and Mann with filing a false police report. And Barbeau and his wife, Laura, are considering suing the women for defamation, Laura Barbeau told the paper.