A New Hampshire man faced a judge Tuesday following an alleged road-rage incident in Grafton Monday afternoon in which a driver was shot.
Joseph Brown, 38, appeared in Grafton County Superior Court in connection with the incident that authorities say played out in front of both men's children.
Brown, who was charged with first-degree assault, is accused of shooting the other driver in the stomach after getting into a minor car crash.
“The State’s position is that you don’t bring a gun to fist fight and gut-shoot someone,” said Grafton County Prosecutor Mariana Pastore.
Police say Brown was driving a Ford Flex on Route 4 West in Grafton when he and the driver of a Ford Escape ended up in a minor collision.
Brown and the other driver, Jason Marandos, pulled over.
Prosecutors say both men got out of their cars and started fighting. Marandos’ wife told police she saw Brown reach into his waistband, pull out a gun, and shoot her husband in the stomach. Police arrested him at the scene.
“He has no prior criminal convictions,” said Brown’s attorney James Brookes.
Brooks said it was a case of self-defense, since Marandos allegedly threw the first punch.
“The complaining witness was a substantially larger individual, he was the initial physical aggressor,” Brooks told the judge during Brown’s arraignment.
But the state is calling Brown a danger to the public, noting that Brown’s three children were in his car and the victim’s son was in the other car.
All four children were just feet away when Brown fired the weapon.
“We believe this shows the defendant is impulsive, he’s dangerous, that he feels no compunction about using firearms to assault someone,” Pastore said. “He may not have a record but he is clearly racking one up.”
Marandos was rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and is expected to survive.
Brown is being held without bail until his next court appearance.