BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ) — A U.S. Army criminal investigator is accused of pointing a handgun at a woman during a road rage incident on I-495, according to court documents.
On Nov. 30, a woman contacted police and reported a driver of a pickup truck had aimed a black pistol at her.
The woman said the driver veered into her lane and slammed on the brakes. She changed lanes, but said the driver repeated the same maneuver.
The driver, Matthew Cunningham, 52, of Raeford, North Carolina, told police a different story.
He said that he pointed a pistol at the visor in his truck and performed a laser check of the weapon in case he needed to use it.
Cunningham now faces 43-years in prison if he is convicted for assault and reckless endangerment charges.
Between 2014 and 2016 more than 1,300 cases of road rage incidents involving a weapon, according to data.
Maryland State Police spokesperson Ron Snyder said that adding a weapon to the mix only escalates the situation.
“Drivers should try to de-escalate a similar situation,” Snyder said. “But the numbers show that doesn’t always happen.”
Last October in Baltimore County, a driver in a moving car on I-695 fired a weapon at a 58-year-old woman who had cut them off.
In March, police arrested a State Trooper who allegedly pointed a gun at another driver during an incident on 695.
Snyder said that it is time to put an end to road rage.
“The idea is to be safe on Maryland roads,” Snyder said. “Not just for yourself, but for everyone else around you.”
The U.S. Army has not returned calls for comment on Cunningham’s case.