BY JENNIFER CABRERA
James Charles McDonald, 30, of Bronson, was arrested yesterday after reports that he shot a gun multiple times while passing another car on Williston Road.
At about 6:50 p.m. last night, multiple calls were received about a road rage incident on SW Williston Road near the intersection with Wacahoota Road. A witness reported that a black Cadillac Escalade had passed him at a high rate of speed, traveling northbound, then closed quickly behind another car. The driver of that car hit his brakes, then the Escalade passed the car. The witness said the two cars began passing each other aggressively until, during one of the passes, the witness heard multiple shots being fired.
The victim also called 911 and was able to provide a partial tag number. An Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy made contact with the victim at a nearby gas station, and the victim said that when the Escalade drove up behind him at a high rate of speed, he hit his brakes and began pulling off the road so the Escalade could pass. The victim said the Escalade pulled up beside him with its windows down, and he was able to provide a description of one of the occupants. The victim said the Escalade got behind him again and then passed him, and he heard multiple gunshots as the Escalade pulled directly next to his car.
Deputies were able to intercept the Escalade near 800 NE Waldo Road, and a felony stop was conducted at 100 SE Williston Road. The driver matched the description provided by the victim. The passenger told deputies that the driver, identified as McDonald, had picked him up to go to the jail to visit his girlfriend and that as they had passed the victim’s car, McDonald had become upset that the victim hit his brakes. The passenger said McDonald then grabbed a pistol and shot out of the sunroof multiple times while next to the victim’s car.
Post Miranda, McDonald reportedly said he had a gun in the vehicle and that everything in the vehicle was his and not the passenger’s. According to the report, he initially denied shooting the gun but later said he had shot it earlier in the day at his home. He said his wife could confirm this, but he reportedly would not provide contact information for her.
The deputy reported that he could smell marijuana coming from the Escalade; a search after the arrest reportedly produced a pistol, baggies with 59 grams of marijuana, a drug scale, a half-full can of beer, multiple empty cans of beer, and a case of unopened beers. Three empty shell casings were also reportedly found in the Escalade.
McDonald has been charged with displaying a firearm during a felony, discharging a weapon from a vehicle, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, possession of over 20 grams of marijuana, distributing marijuana, possession of drug equipment, and using a firearm under the influence of alcohol. He is being held on $472,000 bail.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.