BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Thomas Lambert IV, 26, of Georgia was arrested yesterday evening and charged with aggravated assault after allegedly pointing an AK-47 at a man who shot him a bird on I-75.
At about 6:25 p.m. last night, an Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a reported problem at mile marker 393 southbound on I-75. The caller had said that a man in a white Nissan pickup truck had pointed an AK-47-style gun at him; the victim also provided the license plate number of the truck.
The deputy found the truck at mile marker 386 and reported that it was traveling at about 80 mph. When he pulled in behind the truck, he said it swerved off the road and onto the right shoulder. The deputy pulled off several hundred yards past the truck, and the truck immediately got back onto the road and continued driving. The deputy said he caught back up with the truck at the 382 mile marker, and the truck swerved all the way from the far left lane to the right shoulder although the deputy had not activated his lights or siren. At that point, the first deputy and a second deputy activated their lights and conducted a felony traffic stop.
The deputy reported that when the driver of the truck got out of his vehicle, he had a Glock 19 pistol tucked into his waistband. The deputies told him to place the gun in the vehicle and slowly walk backwards toward them. The driver was then detained and placed in the back of a patrol car without incident.
The deputies reported that while clearing the truck for additional occupants, they observed an AK-47-style gun leaning against the front passenger seat, within easy reach of the driver. The deputies noted that the truck had dark window tinting, so it would have been “unlikely” for a passing driver to have seen the gun if the windows were closed. The deputies reported that the rifle had a round in the chamber and additional rounds in the magazine, establishing that the driver had the means and opportunity to carry out the threat.
Another deputy made contact with the victim, who said he “gave the finger” to the driver of the truck because the truck had been tailgating other vehicles. He said the driver of the truck responded by rolling down the driver’s side window and pointing a rifle at him while they were driving.
Post Miranda, Lambert reportedly said there was no incident and that he had no idea why they had pulled him over. He also reportedly said he had not pointed a gun at anyone. However, based on the victim’s description of the style of the weapon that matched the weapon found in the vehicle, the driver was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. Lambert is being held on $250,000 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.