An Idaho Falls man was arrested Wednesday after he reportedly fired a BB gun at another driver.
Levi Bautista, 20, admitted to shooting at the victim but claimed he did so out of fear that she was trying to hit him.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Bautista and the victim nearly hit each other as the victim was pulling out of a parking lot on 17th Street. The two argued from their cars about whose fault it was that there was nearly an accident.
When the victim pulled away from the parking lot, she noticed Bautista was following behind her in his car. The victim said she heard three “pops” right before her car window shattered.
Both the victim and a passenger said they had not seen a gun, but believed Bautista shot at them.
The victim had originally tried to follow Bautista while calling 911 but stopped when told to by the dispatcher.
Idaho Falls Police Department officers arrived on scene and saw the windows of the victim’s car had broken with shards of glass inside the car. The front passenger window was shattered, and holes were visible in the rear passenger window and the rear trunk window. The damage was estimated to be worth $750.
Police found security footage from a nearby business that recorded Bautista following the victim’s car. The officer could not make out the moment of the shooting but did see the victim’s car suddenly slow down while Bautista sped up.
Bautista was found near another store after a caller reported a man matching his description was behaving suspiciously. An officer stopped him and told him to keep his hands visible as other police arrived. A woman and a child were in the car with Bautista.
Bautista originally claimed his car had been at his dad’s house all day. He later admitted to driving by the store where he and the victim nearly hit each other. He claimed that when he stopped, he saw a “metal shiny object” in the victim’s hand and thought it could be a weapon.
Bautista admitted to firing a BB gun at the victim’s car. He claimed the victim chased him and hit his car with hers. The officer checked Bautista’s car and did not find damage on the rear bumper.
The police officer told him his account was contradictory to what security footage of the incident showed. Bautista then admitted to following the victim and said he did so because he felt threatened and because he did “not know how to act in this society.”
Bautista was charged with aggravated assault, punishable with up to five years in prison, and malicious injury to property, a misdemeanor. His bond was set at $25,000 and a no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 12 in the Bonneville County Courthouse.