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New Charges for Ibarra; Alleged Road Rage Victim Recalls Incident

(Springfield, MO) -- Troubled former Springfield City Council member Nick Ibarra has been formally charged for a road rage incident that led to a bizarre altercation.
Updated at 6:08 p.m.

(Springfield, MO) -- Troubled former Springfield City Council member Nick Ibarra has been formally charged for a road rage incident that led to a bizarre altercation.

Prosecutor Dan Patterson has filed three counts of second degree assault and one count of evidence tampering. Ibarra already faces a charge of unlawful use of a weapon for an incident New Year's Day when he allegedly threatened to kill his wife and himself.

Thursday's charges stem from an incident when Ibarra allegedly got into a rolling argument with another driver that started near National and Grand on Thanksgiving Day. It ended at a house in the 700 block of S. Hazelnut, where Ibarra allegedly followed the other driver.

Ibarra appeared in front of a Greene County judge Thursday and entered a not guilty plea. The alleged victims say they are glad Ibarra was held accountable.

"I'm a little frightened of this guy," says Quinn Russell. "Because he was a city councilman."

The 22-year-old says he and other drivers had no idea what to make of a driver who was behaving strangely on Thanksgiving Day.

"He was sitting at a green light after green light," says Quinn. He says other drivers were beeping, attempting to get the man to move. "After a few lights, he had pulled over to the side of the road."

Quinn says then the driver targeted him.

"He was getting up beside us, like he was swerving, like he was going to hit the vehicle. Called my brother, told him he was driving all erratic and it was scaring me and my girlfriend. She was starting to cry."

Quinn says the driver then followed him to a house where his family was celebrating Thanksgiving. The man identified himself as Springfield City Councilman Nick Ibarra and demanded to speak to Quinn's father Tom.

The probable cause statement said when Quinn Russell's father called 911 and noticed a liquor bottle in the car, Ibarra tried to drive away. Fearing he was driving while intoxicated, Quinn's father and cousin tried to stop him.

Brian Patterson reached his arm inside the car and Ibarra allegedly grabbed it.

"All of a sudden, next thing I know, my dad and cousin Brian are being dragged by his vehicle," adds Quinn.

"I got trapped between the car and Brian still attached to his car. 'Let me go. Let me go. Let me go.' Pleading, begging," says Tom.

The probable cause statement said Ibarra later bragged to a friend about pinning Brian Patterson's arm inside the car and for the length of time he had held it. Court documents say the dragging went on for more than 600 feet before he hit a brick mailbox and fell.

"Mr. Ibarra is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and is taking steps to ensure he continues to improve," says Tyson Martin, Ibarra's attorney.

Ibarra has since resigned his seat on City Council. He is scheduled in court March 12 for a preliminary hearing on the unlawful use of a weapon charge.

Tom Russell says he and Brian Patterson have thousands of dollars in medical bills because of this incident. But, Russell says he hopes Ibarra gets the help he needs.


Previous Reports:

Councilman Charged, Accused of Threatening to Kill Wife, Himself 
Former Councilman Nick Ibarra Facing New Assault Charges 
Phone Messages Searched in Ibarra Road Rage Investigation 
City Council Narrows Down Zone 1 Candidates to Three 
Springfield Police Enlist Help from Highway Patrol in Ibarra Investigation

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