A Bayfield man who assaulted a 66-year-old man in a fit of road rage pleaded guilty to felony assault.
Timothy Stephens, 44, faces between 15 days and 30 days in jail after signing a plea agreement Thursday with the 6th Judicial District Attorneys Office. Stephens also must complete anger-management classes and pay court costs and fees.
The felony assault charge will be deferred, or removed from his permanent record, if he successfully completes terms of his probation. In addition to assault, Stephens pleaded guilty to menacing, a misdemeanor.
The victim, Gerald Cavanah of Durango, did not seek restitution, apparently because his medical insurance covered his expenses, said Christian Champagne, who prosecuted the case.
Cavanah suffered a broken nose and lacerations to the bridge of his nose.
Cavanah did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment.
Stephens agreed to report to the La Plata County Jail on Aug. 17 to serve the 15 days because that is the minimum he is facing. An official sentencing hearing is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 23, at which time District Judge Jeffrey Wilson will decide whether to impose additional jail time up to 15 days.
Stephens did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment.
Stephens was charged with assaulting an at-risk adult because the victim is 60 or older.
The incident occurred about 9:15 a.m. Nov. 25, 2009, in the 10000 block of East Animas Road (County Road 250) about 10 miles north of Durango.
According to an arrest affidavit and courtroom testimony, Cavanah and his wife were leaving for vacation in separate cars. They had just left the house, and his wife pulled over to ask him if he remembered to close a gate.
Stephens, who was employed with Waste Corp. of America, a trash company in Durango, drove a truck around a curve in the road and honked at Cavanah. Stephens was apparently upset about where Cavanah parked.
Cavanah turned the car around and chased the trash truck. He planned to write down the trucks number and log a complaint with the company.
But the trash driver pulled over, exited the vehicle and began walking toward Cavanah, yelling and cursing, Cavanah testified.
As Cavanah tried to write down a phone number on the side of the truck, Stephens slapped Cavanah and punched him.
Cavanah suffered a broken nose and needed surgery.
Stephens gave Cavanah paper towels to stop the bleeding, and both men parted ways. Cavanah went home and instructed his wife to call police.