A man accused of shooting at another motorist in what Washington State Patrol troopers describe as a road-rage incident has been charged with first-degree assault.
Daniel Antonio Mendoza, 22, also was charged in Yakima County Superior Court on Friday with drive-by shooting in connection with the April 5 incident on U.S. Highway 12.
A driver told troopers that he had been shot at by someone who was later identified as Mendoza that morning, according to court documents. The man said he had been driving north on North 16th Avenue when an SUV cut him off on the highway on-ramp, the documents said.
After getting on the highway, the man said he got in front of the SUV and “brake-checked” him, and then the SUV came around his vehicle and the driver fired several shots at him, the documents said.
Troopers found three bullet holes in the right front portion of the man’s Nissan Rogue, court documents said, as well as a shell casing on the highway.
Investigators tracked down Mendoza based on a partial license plate number for the SUV, as well as security camera footage from local businesses, including a fast-food restaurant where he had stopped minutes before the incident, the documents said.
Mendoza is being held in the Yakima County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Prosecutors said at Mendoza’s April 14 preliminary appearance hearing that the shooting had the potential for putting other drivers’ lives in danger.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 28.