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San Gabriel Valley Digest

La Verne : Gun Incident on Road

January 07, 1988

Charges are pending against a Caltrans employee who allegedly brandished a gun at another driver during a dispute over who had the right of way on a narrow road.

Manuel L. Williams Jr., 51, of Pomona, was arrested Monday after police found that his 1977 beige Lincoln Continental matched the description and license plate number of the vehicle involved in the incident, said La Verne police Sgt. John Ortega.

The roadway conflict apparently started about 3 p.m., when Williams and a driver in another car "exchanged words and gestures over who had the right of way" where the road narrows because of construction near Foothill Boulevard and Town Center Drive, Ortega said.

When both drivers pulled to the side of the road to continue their dispute, Williams allegedly rammed the other driver's car, Ortega said.

The other driver, Frederic Nichols, 28, of La Verne, told police that the driver of the Lincoln pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him, Ortega said. No shots were fired, and the gunman fled.

Half an hour later, Ortega said, Pomona police saw the Lincoln at the suspect's house on Hallwood Avenue in Pomona, where officers took Williams into custody after finding a handgun at the residence.

Williams, a traffic engineer for the state Department of Transportation, was booked at the La Verne station for assault with a deadly weapon and exhibiting a firearm in a threatening manner, Ortega said.

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