By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore man was arrested July 17 by Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office deputies after he allegedly pointed a pistol at the occupants of a car whose driver had apparently done something that sparked the local man’s rage.
Sam Payne Jr., 28, of Atmore, was charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
ECSO-Fla. reports indicate the incident came to a head at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 29 and Fla. Hwy 97, in the Molino community, when a man driving a silver Hyundai Sonata with a personalized tag “displayed a firearm during a road rage incident.”
Sheriff’s reports show that the two people at whom the gun was brandished reported to officers that Payne, whom the witnesses later identified, pointed the handgun at them after following closely behind them, “flashing his headlights,” as both vehicles traveled southward on U.S. 29,
The alleged target of Payne’s rage eventually turned into the parking lot of a Cantonment gas station, and Payne continued southbound, according to ECSO-Fla. reports.
He was taken into custody minutes later after a deputy made a traffic stop at the intersection of 29 and Tate School Road on a Hyundai Sonata that bore the specialty license plate.
Deputies ordered Payne out of the Hyundai at gunpoint, noticing a .45-caliber pistol on the front passenger seat as they did. According to sheriff’s reports, the gun had one round in the chamber and two in the magazine.
Payne’s driver’s license was in the center console, and when the deputy removed it, he found an unspecified quantity of pills that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
Payne was released from the Escambia County (Fla.) Jail early the next morning after total bonds of $7,500 — $5,000 on the aggravated assault charges; $2,500 on the drug charge — were posted on his behalf.