CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Henry County man was arrested after a tense road rage incident left a police patrol car damaged and family-of-five terrified.
Clarksville police said around 12 p.m. on Dec. 23, they received a 911 call from a female passenger. She said a man was following her family’s vehicle.
She reported the man, later identified as 63-year-old Herbert Barry Clark, had been following them for nearly an hour, from the Paris Landing Bridge all the way to Clarksville.
News 2 spoke with the victim. He said he was driving the vehicle with his wife and three children along for the ride.
He said it all started when he passed Clark on the highway. He said Clark then caught up to him and started riding his bumper.
“I thought maybe he’s just wanting to get around or he’s in a hurry but he just stayed right there with us,” he said. The victim didn’t want to be identified.
Clark allegedly flashed his headlights and made hand gestures for them to pull over.
“I was fixing to pull over and just ask the guy what his problem was but my wife was begging me not to because the kids were there,” he said.
The victim said his wife called 911 once they got to Clarksville and police guided them to the intersection of Woodale Drive and Lafayette Road while Clark was still behind them.
Officers were there waiting. They tried to get Clark out of his truck but instead he accelerated, spinning his wheels out until he rammed the family’s car.
Clark is then seen on dash cam video reversing his truck and smashing into a patrol car. He also knocked down an officer, police said.
“I was lucky,” said Officer Renee Chouinard. She is the officer who was knocked down. “I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I watched the video a couple times and it kind of sunk in that if he had moved his car a little bit it would’ve been bad.”
Officer Chouinard said she tried to get Clark out of his vehicle but she became caught between him and his door. When he took off, she went with him.
The family says they are grateful to Officer Chouinard and the two other officers on scene.
“I can’t thank them enough,” the victim driver said. “Not that I didn’t have respect for law enforcement to begin with. I do and did but even more so now.”
The police pursued the pickup but called it off due to Clark’s reckless driving endangering the public.
Clark was arrested later in the day by the Henry County Sheriff’s Department and charged with DUI and evading.
After he was released on those charges, he was booked in Montgomery County on charges of aggravated assault, reckless driving, evading resisting arrest, and leaving the scene of an accident.