Road rage victim fighting to hold attacker accountable

July 8, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Victims of road rage who can identify their attacker have criminal and civil recourses to obtain justice.

And now that may even apply to a police officer who erupted on the highway and threatened an innocent victim with his gun.

That's after the Institute for Justice took up the case of Mario Rosales, and appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when a lower court handed the wayward deputy "qualified immunity" for his offending actions.

The IJ reports, "Mario Rosales did nothing wrong but became the victim of an off-duty police officer’s road rage."

While the deputy faced an assault conviction, Rosales' civil claims for damages were dismissed.

That's now been reversed, by the 10th Circuit ruling.

"Officers who egregiously violate the Constitution should not be shielded by qualified immunity," said IJ lawyer Marie Miller. "Today’s decision upholds the rule of law and lets a good man seek justice in the courts. When officers abuse their authority by criminally assaulting people, they must be held accountable."

The ruling, from Nancy Louise Mortiz, found, "Courts can protect officers’ ability to make reasonable split-second law-enforcement decisions when dealing with suspected violent criminals without protecting an officer who was himself the only violent criminal on the scene."

Rosales, in a statement released by his lawyers, said, "Deputy Bradshaw tailed me home, held me at gunpoint illegally, and was convicted for his actions. I’m pleased that my case can finally move forward, and I hope that my fight for accountability will open the door for others. Badges shouldn’t protect lawbreakers."

The IJ explained:

In March 2018, Mario was driving home in his yellow Mustang in Roswell, New Mexico. He passed a black Ford pickup truck, driven by off-duty Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputy David Bradshaw. Bradshaw then tailed Mario to his home and blocked him in his driveway. Mario, not knowing the person following him was an officer, exited the Mustang with his legally owned handgun displayed openly in his pocket.

Mario remained calm as Bradshaw yelled and cursed at him. The deputy then pointed his own gun at Mario even though the deputy’s toddler was seated between the two men, in the front passenger seat. Mario agreed to put his own weapon back in the car and speak to the deputy in his driveway. Another sheriff’s deputy soon arrived and convinced Bradshaw to leave.

Mario was not ticketed, and Bradshaw was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and child abuse. Chaves County fired Bradshaw and has argued that what he did was outside the bounds of his employment. Mario sued Bradshaw and the sheriff’s department for violating his constitutional rights.

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