A Bayfield man Thursday pleaded not guilty to assaulting a 66-year-old man in a suspected bout of road rage.
At a preliminary hearing, District Judge Jeffrey Wilson found probable cause to support the charge of felony assault on
an at-risk individual - in this case a man 60 or older.
Timothy Stephens, who was 44 at the time, is suspected of punching Durango resident Gerald Cavanah multiple times in
The incident occurred about 9:15 a.m. Nov. 25, 2009, on the side of the road in the 10000 block of East Animas Road
(County Road 250) about 10 miles north of Durango.
Stephens was employed with Waste Corp. of America, a trash company in Durango.
Cavanah testified Thursday that he and his wife were driving separate cars to visit family in Arizona. They had just
left the house, and his wife pulled over to ask him if he remembered to close a gate.
Stephens' trash truck sped around a curve in the road and honked at Cavanah because he was parked in the middle of the
Cavanah decided to turn around and write down the truck's number so he could log a complaint with the company.
But the driver of the truck 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 then punched him
Cavanah suffered a broken nose in the incident.
Stephens gave Cavanah paper towels to stop the bleeding, and both men parted ways. Cavanah went home and instructed his
wife to call police.
At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must show probable cause - a minimal standard of proof - that a crime occurred
and the defendant is connected to it.
A disposition hearing is set for April 22, at which time a plea agreement can be struck, the case will be continued or
the case will be set for trial.