Sandoval pleads not guilty to ramming car on highway

Adrian Sandoval mugshot.

SUBLETTE COUNTY – An ongoing feud between two men about an alleged theft led to three, perhaps four collisions between the front of one car and the rear of another as both drove south of Pinedale on June 23.

At 7:33 p.m., Deputy Parker Smith responded to a report of a hit-and-run and talked to the male passenger and the woman driving a blue 2020 Ford Fusion, whose injuries were treated by Sublette EMS, according to his affidavit.

The passenger said Adrian Sandoval of Pinedale had driven at a high speed up behind them and “rammed” the Ford Fusion with his white 1995 Ford sedan, it says.

Both were wearing seatbelts; the Fusion’s rear bumper had scratches and dents the two said weren’t there earlier, it says.

Sandoval told Deputy Smith he saw the blue car go by and was upset about things missing from his father’s truck when he crashed it on May 3. He said the Ford Fusion’s driver “brake-checked” him in a 65-mph speed zone and being a car length behind, Sandoval crashed into the back of it, the deputy reported.

‘Terrified’

The male passenger told Deputy Smith he was “terrified of what Sandoval might do” and the two would try to outrun him to Farson if necessary, the affidavit says.

Sandoval also said he couldn’t brake because a tire blew out and after the third collision, he slowed and made a U turn to get help changing his tire, the affidavit says.

A witness said Sandoval’s car passed her and drove so close to the rear of the Fusion that it hit the rear, it says. The woman driving was taken to the Pinedale Clinic with back pain and cleared.

On June 24, Deputy Smith recommended a felony charge of aggravated assault because Sandoval “decided to use his vehicle as a weapon “in a manner that put them in legitimate fear of serious bodily harm and death.”

That day, Sublette County Attorney Mike Crosson filed two misdemeanor charges of reckless endangering against Sandoval, one misdemeanor of reckless driving and one of property destruction of less than $1,000.

Trial requested

At Sandoval’s June 27 arraignment, Circuit Court Judge Curt Haws amended Sandoval’s bond to $10,000 cash only with stipulations he is not allowed to drive any vehicle, have any contact with the driver or her passenger and obtain an anger management assessment.

Sandoval pleaded not guilty; he requested a six-person jury trial that is set for Nov. 15 with an Oct. 17 pretrial conference.

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