A 70-year-old South Frontenac Township man who lost it in May over a breach of driving etiquette has been placed on probation as a reminder to keep his temper.

Michael P. Park pleaded guilty in Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice to threatening a fellow motorist over tailgating.

After hearing the facts, Justice Larry O’Brien suspended Park’s sentencing and placed him on non-reporting probation for 18 months, but he also prohibited the senior for five years from possessing firearms, ammunition and certain other weapons such as crossbows.

Crown attorney Ross Drummond told the judge that Park was charged May 6 after a confrontation with another man around 5:30 p.m. on the property of Willows Agriservices near Harrowsmith, identified in his brief as Willows Feed Farm.

However, the dispute had actually begun, it was suggested to the judge, during the previous 15 minutes driving. It had come to a boil for Park as he piloted his Ford F-250 between the Bracken and Wilton roads.

Consequently, when the victim’s following vehicle turned off behind him into the entrance to the feedlot south of Star Corners, Park reacted.

Drummond said he braked, got out of his vehicle and went back to confront the other driver, angrily accusing him of tailgating his truck since Yarker.

Drummond said the other man retorted that he hadn’t been in Yarker that day and had only been driving behind Park since Bracken Road.

But Park wasn’t mollified. According to an Ontario Provincial Police report on the incident, he “removed” a metal post and brandished it at his fellow motorist, telling him “don’t ever do that again.”

The victim later told police that when Park moved toward him, he feared he might actually be struck with the post.

Park’s lawyer, Doug Caldwell, noted that the victim did acknowledge following his client for some distance, and he said Park maintains there was a section between Bracken Road and Wilton Road where the following vehicle was just too close for comfort.

Caldwell said Park gave the other motorist every opportunity to pass on that stretch and became frustrated when he chose to ride his bumper instead.

Justice O’Brien, in sentencing the senior, observed that even though there was no physical contact between the two men, “this episode instilled some anxiety and fear,” in the victim.

Source: The Kingston Whig-Standard