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Driver has no regrets for firing gun on I-94
She denies it was road rage

March 30, 2007

BY GINA DAMRON

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Bernadette Headd says she doesn't regret taking out her 9mm handgun and firing it during a freeway run-in with another driver.

It was self-defense, not road rage, she said.

In an interview Thursday with the Free Press, Headd said she was overcome by fear when she flashed her handgun to try to scare off a driver she thought was trying to run her off I-94 last month. Then she said she fired the gun out of the window of her 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier to get that driver to back off.

Now, the 40-year-old Macomb Township woman is out of the Macomb County Jail on bond, waiting to face a jury in May on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle and using a firearm during a felony.

"If I wanted to, I could have hit his truck or even him," she said at her attorney's office in Madison Heights. "I wasn't trying to kill anybody."

But officials at the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office said Headd went too far. They said she fired her gun at the tire of a Dodge Ram that was following closely behind her after its driver tailgated her, prompting that man -- Russell Sabo, 46, of New Baltimore -- to flag down police on the highway.

"Her statement immediately after she was arrested was ... she 'was sick and tired of people running up on her on the freeway,' " said Jim Langtry, chief of operations for the prosecutor's office. "This is an extreme case of road rage."

The incident is one of the few high-profile cases of its kind since the concealed weapons permit law was passed in 1999, making it easier for Michiganders to carry guns. Some who opposed the law warned that such acts would become commonplace once more people were allowed to carry guns.

Langtry said Headd's gun has been taken away and it's likely her permit to carry a concealed weapon, which she obtained in 1999, would be revoked. Though she doesn't regret doing what she felt was necessary to defend herself, Headd insisted she isn't a danger.

"I do know better," she said. "I'm far from an idiot."

Headd has gotten four speeding tickets in the past seven years, but has no points on her license, according to the Secretary of State. Sabo hasn't had any moving violations in the last seven years. Since the incident, he has declined to comment.

Headd's account

Headd's encounter began just after 8 a.m. Feb. 21, when she left her home, bound for work at a Spirit Airlines reservation center in Harrison Township, and merged onto I-94 from Hall Road, pulling in front of Sabo's pickup in the left lane.

Traveling at about 70 m.p.h., Headd said she began to fear for her safety when she said Sabo pulled within inches of her rear bumper three times. She moved to the middle lane and he followed, pulling in front of her and slamming on his brakes, she said.

Headd said Sabo moved back to the left lane and positioned his truck next to her car. Then, she said, she reached for a holster built into her purse and grabbed the loaded 9mm -- the same gun she has owned and carried since 1999. She flashed it to scare him off.

But Headd said her scare tactic didn't work. She said Sabo swerved in front of her, nearly clipping her front end. Headd said she was still in the middle lane when she pointed the gun out of the window, aimed at a grassy median to the left of Sabo's pickup -- which was in the left lane -- and fired one shot. She said she was in shock as she pulled the gun back into the car.

"I really never thought I would have to discharge that weapon," Headd said. "I just couldn't believe it, that I was put in a position" to have to use the gun. "I'm still in disbelief."

Prosecutors' account

Prosecutors say Headd cut Sabo off, but she said she's not sure whether she did. Langtry said Sabo told police that he was following closely behind Headd only after she cut him off. As he was trying to pass her, he told police she pulled a gun out of her purse and pointed it.

Headd said she had gotten the gun for protection for her and her family. She's the primary caretaker for her mother, who had a kidney transplant in December, and for her son, 18, who had surgery for scoliosis in January.

She's hoping to move her family out of Macomb County, where they moved four years ago from Detroit in what she thought was "an upward mobility move." Now she said she wants to move again because she feels she shouldn't have been charged for defending herself.

Headd said she didn't intend on putting anyone in danger, including vehicles driving nearby.

But Langtry said Headd -- who had a second clip of ammunition behind her car seat and a box of 18 bullets -- was like a bomb waiting to go off.

"If it wasn't Mr. Sabo," he said, "it would have been the next car."

Contact GINA DAMRON at 248-351-3293 or [email protected].

The article with pic can be found at; http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070330/NEWS04/703300351[/quote]

- Janq

Lesson Learned:

As a child my mother told and taught me; "Two wrongs don't make a right".

Ms. Headd should have gone to the same school my mom took me to as she'd have known that her actions were ill advised and stupid.

"Headd said she didn't intend on putting anyone in danger, including vehicles driving nearby."

Intent is not a free pass when it comes to the law.
This ain't a game of horsehoes. She's old enough to know better, and should.

It's ironic that it was the other guy who pulled over to alert a cop and got her busted.
As well even if her story is 100% truthful and he did do as much, her own corresponding reaction is the worst of the two. She needs to be charged and buh bye to her firearmprivledges as she's proven herself to be unsuitable, and should be charged although if I were the judge I'd suspend jail time and assign a probationary sentence of pain plus community service hours.

I can't even feel bad for this lady.
 

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thats fuckin scary. plus, 99% of drivers don't know their vehicles dimensions for SHIT. chances are he was at LEAST 6 feet away from her car when he "almost clipped it" and was "tailgating".

whats worse is how savagely she contradicts herself. she goes on and on about how she didn't want to put anyone at risk, even though she is trying to shoot out the tires of a car behind her.... while traveling at 70mph.
 

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Nose Nuggets said:
thats fuckin scary. plus, 99% of drivers don't know their vehicles dimensions for SHIT. chances are he was at LEAST 6 feet away from her car when he "almost clipped it" and was "tailgating".

whats worse is how savagely she contradicts herself. she goes on and on about how she didn't want to put anyone at risk, even though she is trying to shoot out the tires of a car behind her.... while traveling at 70mph.
Six feet away at 70mph is tailgating, is almost clipping, and is extremely dangerous. Ideally you should be 50 or more feet off the car in front of you at that speed, but we all know the realities of modern traffic. :rolleyes:

That said, Headd is an idiot and should not be allowed to drive, much less carry a gun.
 

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This story reminds me of a phrase my dad used to say to me; "Son, there's nothing common about common sense."

Neither one of them were making smart decisions, but Ms. Headd was the worst part of the situation.
 

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Fuzz541 said:
Six feet away at 70mph is tailgating, is almost clipping, and is extremely dangerous. Ideally you should be 50 or more feet off the car in front of you at that speed, but we all know the realities of modern traffic. :rolleyes:
thats completely irrelevant.
 

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Here is the result from her sentancing today......

Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Macomb Township road-rage driver gets 2 1/2 years
Edward L. Cardenas / The Detroit News


MOUNT CLEMENS -- A 40-year-old Macomb Township woman was sentenced today to 2 ½ years behind bars for a road rage incident on Interstate 94.

Bernadette Headd was found guilty by a Macomb County jury in June of assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and felony firearm for shooting at a pickup truck in February along I-94 in Harrison Township.

The jury took 15 minutes to reach its verdict. Headd, who was free on bond at the time of sentencing, will spend six months of her sentence in the Macomb County Jail and the rest in prison. She was sentenced by Macomb Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski.

Headd was driving her Chevrolet Cavalier onto westbound Interstate 94 near M-59 about 8 a.m. Feb. 21 when she claimed a 46-year-old New Baltimore man in a Dodge Ram began tailgating her. Police said she then pulled out a 9 mm handgun and fired one round at the truck's tires.

The victim then followed Headd's car and followed her as she exited the freeway at 16 Mile and was able to get the attention of a Macomb County Sheriff's deputy, who arrested her. The gun was found in the car.

Her attorney, Leslie Kutinsky, said Headd may appeal the case.

You can reach Edward L. Cardenas at (586) 468-0529 or [email protected].
 

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good riddance to bad rubbish.

appeal all you want you silly skank it took a jury 15 minutes. 15 MINUTES IS UNHEARD OF! you couldnt get a serial rapist with whitenesses behind bars in 15 fuckin minutes.
 

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please no flaming.

what was this woman thinking.....



you do not use a wimpy 9mm to take out another car, one needs to use a 50cal bmg to do a good clean job of it.:rolleyes:





now that the toung in cheek said.

shit what was this woman thinking...or not thinking.

if there is a problem with another driver on the road, one needs to take the next off ramp to get room and away from the other car.

only getting two and one half years she got off easy.

but will she be able to drive a auto when she gets out?

nothing in the constution about being able to drive.
 
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