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Washburn

Washburn

Bail has been set at $250,000 for a man accused of a road rage incident that ended with a Lolo family holding him at gunpoint.

Robert Lewis Washburn, 50, was arrested at the scene Sunday morning and charged Monday with five felonies and a misdemeanor related to the incident. 

"Trauma was triggered in a way that I can't begin to tell you," Allen Jenkins, who held the alleged suspect at gunpoint after a struggle at his home on Sunday, told Missoula County Justice of the Peace Alex Beal at Washburn's initial appearance Monday. "My daughter believed she was hearing me being killed over the phone."

According to charging documents, Washburn began tailgating a woman heading north on Highway 93 Sunday morning, then pulled in front of her and slowed down, seemingly for no reason. Because she thought the driver "started to act weird," she turned around, but Washburn's vehicle followed her and twice tried running her off the road, she told police. At one point, Washburn's vehicle got in front of her again and reversed into the woman's vehicle, she said. 

The woman turned around again and this time went to her home for help. Washburn, according to court documents, followed her and drove into the staircase leading up to the residence.

Jenkins, the woman's uncle, came out of the house at this time to see Washburn "attempting to kick his way through the side of the house on the garage roof," he told police and again told Beal on Monday. 

Washburn reportedly approached Jenkins and said "Are you ready for this?," to which Jenkins said he replied "Bring it on."

According to Jenkins' account, Washburn pulled a two-foot section of gutter off of the roof and came at Jenkins; Jenkins picked up a sprinkler and the two began swinging at each other, although no one was injured in the exchange.

The woman involved in the earlier road rage incident then came out of the house with a handgun, gave it to Jenkins, retrieved her own handgun and they both held Washburn at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived. 

"My niece came out of the house with my handgun, at which point I put it to his head," Jenkins told the Justice of the Peace on Monday. "We still struggled over the sprinkler, and I pushed him to the ground."

Montana Fish and Game law enforcement arrived first, followed shortly after by a Missoula County Sheriff's deputy. When officers found a syringe in Washburn's pocket upon his arrest, Washburn told them it was for meth, according to charging documents.

While Washburn told deputies he "did not know" what happened, his pupils were constricted to a "pin point," prosecutors noted in charging records.

Prosecutors on Monday charged Washburn with five felonies: two counts of criminal endangerment, assault with a weapon, criminal mischief and attempted burglary. He also faces one count of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, his second offense, which is a misdemeanor. 

The last time Washburn appeared in Missoula County Justice Court in June, law enforcement had 11 different warrants for his arrest, Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings said.

Beal told Washburn, who was appearing from the Missoula County jail by video, he believed prosecutors' request for $250,000 bail was "pretty low," considering the amount of trauma suffered by the family through the incident. 

"You must have one hell of a guardian angel that you're not dead," Beal told Washburn.

Beal obliged the $250,000 bail request by prosecutors and set Washburn's next hearing for Nov. 29.

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