September 17, 2013

Maine firearms instructor charged in road-rage incident

By Craig Crosby / Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — City police briefly seized a pistol from a Farmingdale firearms instructor before charging him in a road-rage incident in which he allegedly flashed a gun to two women who challenged his driving skills.

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Augusta Police Department Sgt. Christopher Shaw inspects a pistol that officers briefly took from a man Tuesday following a road-rage incident in Augusta.

Andy Molloy / Kennebec Journal

Robert Getchell, 60, of Farmingdale, was issued a summons charging him with displaying a firearm in a threatening manner, said Augusta police Sgt. Christopher Shaw.

Shaw said the confrontation was the culmination of a road-rage incident that began around 3 p.m. Tuesday as Getchell and the two young women drove west on Mount Vernon Avenue. He passed the women on the right in the two-lane section just west of Bond Brook Road, Shaw said.

The women, who were headed to the University of Maine at Augusta, instead followed Getchell to the Sam’s Club parking lot to “let him know he was a bad driver,” Shaw said.

Shaw said Getchell, who has a concealed weapons permit, admitted he displayed the pistol during the confrontation.

However, he denied he was trying to threaten the women, according to Shaw.

Shaw said Getchell told police he was simply removing the pistol from his truck’s console to put in the waistband near the small of his back because he had forgotten his shoulder harness.

Police spoke to Getchell and the women before giving the pistol back to him. Officers urged people not to confront others for what they believe to be bad driving.

“If they hadn’t, this wouldn’t have taken place,” Shaw said.

Getchell, who didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment, runs Central Maine Firearms Training in Farmingdale. The company’s website says it gives National Rifle Association-approved firearm safety courses.

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