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Drivers' Fight Leaves 1 Stabbed

April 08, 2006|Stephen Clark | Times Staff Writer

A vending machine operator stabbed a fellow motorist early Friday during an apparent road rage incident in Dana Point before continuing with his rounds stocking snacks at coastal businesses, authorities said.

Charles Leroy Buddemeyer, 60, of Vista was arrested at the Riviera Beach & Spa Resort, where he was filling snack machines. Orange County sheriff's deputies said he was carrying a blood-covered knife.

Buddemeyer was booked at Orange County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department. Bail was set at $25,000.

Evan Michael Heath, 26, of San Clemente was in serious condition Friday night at Mission Hospital after undergoing surgery.

Authorities said that the two drivers were at Palisades Drive and Coast Highway about 7 a.m., when Heath honked at Buddemeyer to alert him that the signal had turned green.

After arguing, the two got out of their vehicles and got into a fistfight, Amormino said. Buddemeyer pulled out a knife and thrust it into Heath, he said.

As Heath slumped over, Amormino said, Buddemeyer got back in his van and drove about 300 yards to the resort, the next stop on his route. Heath then got back in his car and followed the van to the motel.

Sheriff's deputies staked out the resort and waited for the vending machine operator to return to his van. Buddemeyer had two black eyes and a fresh cut under his left eye when he was arrested, Amormino said.

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