VIDEO: Fort Wayne’s Road Rage – Legal Fate Unveiled for Man Charged with Felony Recklessness in Shooting Incident

Greetings, readers, as we delve into a recent incident unfolding on the streets of Fort Wayne, where police charged a 42-year-old man with a felony charge of criminal recklessness involving a deadly weapon. The legal proceedings surrounding this case have taken a unique turn, with the individual’s fate recently unveiled by the court.

Henkle shooting arrest

Screen grab from dash cam video.

The Road Rage Drama Unfolds:

A commute on November 19th was anything but typical for several people involved in a road-rage incident recorded by the dashcam of an uninvolved third-party. Witnesses shared their observations of the violent altercation involving three men and a woman. The incident led to police charging a 42-year-old Fort Wayne man called Jason Henkle, with a felony.

Detailed Account: Violence with Vehicles Below is the dash cam video, recorded by a vehicle trailing directly behind the two disagreeable drivers. We don’t know what initially started the chain of events that ultimately led to the incident. But the video we have shows a car, driven by a man called Alexander Mozee, and a van, driven by Henkle. The two drivers engaged in a dangerous exchange of maneuvers that put many other people at risk. Each party took turns recklessly cutting the other vehicle off, and even what appears to be contact between the two vehicles as they sped down the road.

With neither party willing to back down, the incident escalated into an unfortunate climax.

Escalation to Violence: A Dramatic Turn of Events

As the automotive drama intensified, the confrontational parties elevated the situation. As the vehicles approached an intersection controlled by a red traffic light, the Mozee’s sedan sped ahead. Once in front, Mozee pulled in front of the Henkle, stopping him from driving forward.

We see two men, Mozee and his passenger, exit the sedan and approach the Henkle’s van on the driver’s side. The door of the van is closed, and from the probable cause declaration—included below—we learn that the driver’s window was at least partially closed. Mozee punches through the driver’s window, smashing it while simultaneously hitting Henkle in the head.

The probable cause declaration says that Henkle told police that once Mozee cut in front of his van and stopped, and the two men exited the sedan and approached his vehicle, he feared for his safety and the safety of his wife who was a passenger in the van.

Henkle said he drew his Ruger .380 handgun from his waistband. Henkle told police he fired 3 shots from his handgun at Mozee.

Two of the three rounds Henkle fired stuck Mozee, resulting in non-lethal injuries. Mozee’s passenger was not injured.

Analytical Perspective: When Vehicular Strife Turns Into a Public Safety Concern The incident, characterized by reckless driving that endangered innocent people, destruction of property and the discharge of firearms that resulted in injuries, highlights the concerning potential for public safety hazards when road rage incidents escalate beyond vehicular confrontations.

In fact, one of the three rounds Henkle fired did not strike Mozee. Instead, it passed through the passenger window of an uninvolved vehicle. The deflected round stuck the driver on the right side of his head. By the grace of God, this man’s injuries were not life-threatening.

A Defender Emerges: Shots Fired in Self-Defense?

Amidst the chaos, one of the involved parties, the driver of the van, claimed he felt compelled to act in self-defense. Fearing for his safety and that of his companion, he discharged three shots to deter the perceived threat.

According to internet advice, the driver gave the right answer, “I feared for my life.” Isn’t that is supposed to get him out of jail? Well, not this time. The police determined Henkle “was the aggressor” and charged him with a felony.

Legal Implications: Heroic Act or Legal Quandary? The ensuing legal proceedings saw the van driver facing a level 6 felony charge of criminal recklessness. The unfolding narrative prompts contemplation on the fine line between self-defense and legal ramifications in such tense situations.

Judicial Resolution: Charges Dismissed, Record Expunged

Fast forward to November 28th, when Judge John Bohdan rendered a verdict in this case. The judge dismissed the criminal recklessness charge and ordered an expungement of the Henkle’s record.

road rage shooting probable cause declaration page 1 road rage shooting probable cause declaration page 2

Lessons to Learn:

So Henkle’s actions were legally justifiable, right? Not exactly. By dismissing the charges, the judge simply said there wasn’t enough evidence to substantiate the charge. While the state could, I think it’s unlikely that Indiana will charge Henkle with other crimes. So practically, at least for now, legally, the judge’s ruling exonerates Henkle. But I hope that isn’t the lesson learned from this incident.

First, Police arrested Henkle. A judge with a different opinion of the case could have allowed it to proceed. Henkle might’ve been cleared if that happened. Then again, maybe not. The point is, Henkle’s future was in the hands of others.

Next, an errant round Henkle fired struck an innocent person in the head. The man didn’t die, but he could have. Besides the legal issues, we can’t overlook the psychological trauma of shooting an innocent person.

Let’s also not forget that both men put innocent motorists and their passengers at serious risk of harm with their reckless driving. While both had the opportunity, neither man chose to de-escalate the situation and disengage.

One might say Henkle shouldn’t have said a word to the police. While I believe any initial statement to police should be minimal, it isn’t likely that it was Henkle’s statement that led to his arrest. And if Henkle had kept his mouth shut, it appears police would have arrested him, anyway.

I wasn’t on scene, and didn’t have access to other statements, but based solely on the information in the probable cause declaration, and what I see in the video, I don’t believe Henkle was “the aggressor”. Henkle certainly didn’t do anything to diffuse the incident, but I believe that once Mozee blocked Henkle’s vehicle, and punched through Henkle’s driver’s window, Mozee lost his legal innocence and became at least a mutual combatant or at most “the aggressor”. Perhaps this is also what the judge saw.

Final Conclusion:

In conclusion, this Fort Wayne road rage incident offers valuable insights into the intricate nature of legal proceedings surrounding events characterized by heightened emotions and potential danger. As we navigate our roadways, let us reflect on maintaining composure and seek resolutions that prioritize safety and adherence to the law.

You stand a good chance of staying out of trouble if you strive to be in control of your own emotions. And as much as lies within you, seek to live peaceably with all men. When you no longer can avoid conflict, or de-escalation is not possible, be decisive and use force appropriately.

6 Comments

  1. E.R.H. on January 17, 2024 at 6:53 pm

    A car pulls swiftly and aggressively in front of you while driving. Stops, both he and his passenger exit the vehicle and approach your vehicle ranting and raveing at you. One punches your drivers door glass out and strikes you. Your wife is with you in the vehicle. Just when do you defend yourself and family? For me, a empty mag later would answer that question. Men needs to know his limitations!! Eastwood was right.

    • TET on January 17, 2024 at 7:12 pm

      You defend yourself by backing down LONG BEFORE this erupts. Why would you put yourself and your loved ones in this situation? Stupid.

    • Ryan on January 17, 2024 at 7:22 pm

      They both should be CHARGED!!
      They should never engaged in such childish behavior.

    • JAC on January 17, 2024 at 8:14 pm

      Henkle (in the van) cuts in front of the sedan. Mozee gets “upset” and accelerates to cut back in front of the van. Henkle could de-escalate the situation he caused by cutting the sedan off initially but he chose not to. Mozee reacted in rage (as well as Henkle).

      If you’re going to carry a weapon, you’re obligated to show some maturity and not act like this to start with. Henkle got off lucky.

  2. Bob Wire on January 17, 2024 at 7:51 pm

    Had a guy in the Chicago area do a similiar thing to me, then got out of his car, running full speed towards me, stopped at a light, shaking his fist shouting obsecenties as he ran towards me–clearly with intent to harm. I was boxed in by other cars–I literally honked the S-O-S signal with my horn–others backed up, allowed me to make a U turn and off I went—bozo jumps back in his car and chases me. I decide right then and there I am going to drive the limit and get to a Police station or a public place where there are people and cameras and go from there. Bozo gave up and peeled away. I reported it to the police with plate number and descriptors–never heard back from them. I often think had he reached my vehicle would I have had shot him had he tried to do me physical harm–I am 70, he was probably 32 he was in a complete state of rage. You tell me, had I not tried to de-escalate by getting away, and he tried to harm me, would I be justified in defending myself with a gun in that situation. He had no weapon I could see, just him, his rage, much younger and stronger than me. Guess legally I would have had to wait for him to break the window, and start going after me physically. So many questions.

  3. Frank D Hudman on January 17, 2024 at 7:53 pm

    There are three separate actions that caused one to call Feared for my life. When it became 2 against one. Overwhelming odds! For more clarity. Picture a bar room. One man pushes the other out of his way his friend attacks the man who (accidently? pushing) with a cue stick to the groin. A gun is produced and fired at the attacker. Attack is stopped. Escalation is evidently stopped.!

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