An altercation in Boulder, CO started out with road rage and escalated into the throwing of pecan pies. If I had a dollar for every story I’d heard begin that way, then I’d have $1.
The incident began around 7 p.m. when Adam Raley, thirty-five-years-old, was followed home from Safeway by a driver that he admitted to cutting off after pulling out of the parking lot. Raley told police he has a tendency to drive aggressively and he may have cut off some vehicles on his drive home.
When Raley returned home he was confronted by sixty-two-year-old Gary Strand, who was driving a Chevrolet Geo. Colorado Daily reports what happened next:
The police report details minimal verbal communication between the men thereafter, stating that Strand “threw something” and that Raley “saw what appeared to be the remnants of a pecan pie on the rear window and trunk.”
“Adam said he went over, picked up some of what was left of the pie and ‘threw it back at (Strand’s) car,'” the report adds.
The pie fight preceded a much more serious allegation, in which Strand “got back in his vehicle and ‘hit the pedal,’ driving his car at the victim,” according to police.
Raley said in his report to officers that it was “intense and scary” and that he “thought the guy was trying to run me over.” He said he braced himself against Strand’s vehicle to avoid being struck, and he was not injured.
Strand then went into the back seat of his vehicle, the police report said, to grab a “short baton of some kind,” which he is accused of using to break the tail light of Raley’s car.
Throwing a pie is one thing, but trying to run someone over with a car, that’s unacceptable. Raley was able to get the pie thrower’s license plate number and Strand was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing and criminal mischief.
After the arrest Strand told police Raley had been speeding and cutting off cars. He told officers that Raley passed his car and many others while driving his vehicle on the shoulder of the road. On top of that, he claimed Raley “flipped him off a couple times.”
Let this be a lesson to all you aggressive drivers out there. Be careful who you piss off. They might just follow you home and waste a delicious pecan pie by launching it at your windshield!
For all of you hardcore libertarians out there trying to figure out who’s at fault in this incident, I’ll try to summarize the four violations of the Non-aggression Principle (NAP) in this absurd situation.
1) Driving on the shoulder to pass vehicles and presenting the middle finger to disapproving drivers. It’s a violation because driving recklessly and flicking other drivers off is essentially threatening violence against other drivers. Remember this person is driving a deadly weapon. When you drive like a jerk you put others at risk and violate the NAP.
2) Following the aforementioned reckless driver home and throwing a pie at their car. Even though it was only a pie, initiating force against another individual is a violation of the NAP. Remember, this is not two friends joking around. Imagine if someone followed you home and jumped out of their car and threw something at your car. It’s only hilarious after the fact when you can laugh that it was a pecan pie. In the moment, it was a rights violation and certainly not an appropriate response to the drivers prior violation of the NAP.
3) Proceeding to attempt to run over the reckless driver, after they throw the pieces of the pie back at the original pie thrower. For the record re-throwing pieces of the splattered pie back seems like an appropriate reaction and not a violation of the NAP. However, attempting to run someone over after they throw an already thrown pie back at you is most certainly a violation of the NAP.
4) Breaking the tail lights of the aggressive driver after attempting to run them over would also count as a violation of the Non-aggression Principle.
As you can see, the individual who first violated the Non-aggression Principle set this whole chain of events in motion. However, when it comes to the violation of the Non-aggression Principle not all responses are considered acceptable use of retaliatory force. Following someone home, throwing a pie at their property, trying to run them over, and finally damaging their property are nowhere near the acceptable use of force to be used in response to a reckless driver. It appears this lunatic got what he deserved with a felony charge; he could have killed someone.
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