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March 25, 2003 2:17 a.m
Man charged in road rage case after woman injured
A 70-year-old former U.S. Army Ranger was charged Monday with battery after California Highway Patrol officers say he struck and kicked a pregnant woman he felt had been speeding.
Kenneth Hayes McCaulley of Redding was also charged with reckless driving and child endangerment in connection with Friday’s alleged road rage confrontation.
He pleaded innocent to the charges, all misdemeanors, in Shasta County Superior Court.
The female driver, 25-year-old Andrea Strieff of Shasta Lake, was treated at a hospital and released.
Strieff, who is nearly nine months pregnant, told officers she was driving west on Union School Road about 12:40 p.m., following a van.
Strieff said the van slowed to 5 mph, and she passed it on the left. But the van’s driver then sped up and followed so closely Strieff said she couldn’t see the license plate in her rearview mirror.
She said the van passed on the left and pulled in front, causing her to steer to the right and stop in a hurry.
That’s when McCaulley, the van’s driver, got out of his vehicle, officers said.
“He was irritated,” said CHP officer Monty Hight. “He went back and started yelling obscenities at her.”
Officers said McCaulley went to Strieff’s sedan, reached through the driver’s window and hit her on the nose with his open palm. She got out of the car and he kicked her, the report says.
“He overreacted, very much so,” said Hight.
Family members said the woman’s 4-year-old son and 20-month-old daughter witnessed the argument.
“She was screaming, ‘I’m pregnant!’ ” said her mother-in-law, Cindy Strieff.
McCaulley told officers that Strieff had been traveling at least 70 mph on the rural road, and said he was tired of cars passing him in that area, CHP reports say.
He said he’d complained to the CHP about reckless drivers, but officers said a search of their files came up empty.
McCaulley said he “took care of the situation on his own,” the report says, paraphrasing him. He also denied striking Strieff, but an officer concluded otherwise.
In court Monday, the suspect was ordered to stay away from Strieff. Bail was set at $7,500.
By Monday night, McCaulley was no longer held at the Shasta County Jail, a spokeswoman said.
McCaulley, a Korean War veteran, told officers his doctor had recently changed his medication, which he took for depression.
He is scheduled to return to court April 14.
Alex Breitler can be reached at 225-8344 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003