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Police: South Idaho man attacked 3 men with baseball bat in road rage assault

March 9, 2017 GMT

TWIN FALLS — A Twin Falls driver attacked another driver with a baseball bat, slammed a car door on the passenger’s head and drove his SUV onto a curb trying to hit the other driver in a road-rage incident partially caught on video, police said.

The attack happened Oct. 17, but the accused, Jeremy Abraham Batchelor, 41, of Twin Falls, avoided arrest until Friday, when he was detained on a $100,000 warrant. Batchelor was set to make an initial appearance Monday in Twin Falls County Magistrate Court on a felony count of aggravated battery and two misdemeanor counts of battery.

Jesus Bautista, the driver of the other car, said he was trying to turn left from Washington Street North onto Caswell Avenue in Twin Falls when Batchelor, driving a white SUV behind him, “became irritated … (and) began to honk his horn and pull up very close.”

After turning, Bautista parked and began walking to a house on Caswell Avenue when Batchelor pulled in behind, ran at him and hit him in the right arm with a baseball bat, court documents said. Batchelor also swung at Bautista’s head, but Bautista blocked the attack with his left hand.

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“Sometime during the altercation, Mr. Bautista heard (Batchelor) yell at him, ‘Why don’t you learn to (expletive) drive?’” Twin Falls Police Officer Matthew Gealta wrote in a sworn affidavit.

Bautista’s father, a passenger, jumped out and tried to help but was pushed against the car and fell to the ground, court documents said. Bautista’s cousin, also a passenger, tried to get out but was stopped when Batchelor slammed the door on his head, causing him to momentarily lose consciousness.

“The individual who had attacked (Bautista and his relatives) then got in his car and attempted to run Bautista over,” Gealta wrote. “As Bautista ran away from the vehicle, the vehicle went up on the sidewalk in attempts to hit him.”

A witness videotaped the tail end of the attack, which showed a man who “strongly resembled” Batchelor holding a baseball bat and running to a 1995 Mitsubishi SUV while Bautista ran the opposite direction, court documents said. The video also showed the SUV’s license plate — it was registered to Batchelor — and two victims identified Batchelor as the bat-wielding attacker.

Police went to Batchelor’s home several times that night and found the white SUV parked outside, but Batchelor refused to open the door, court documents said. A judge issued a warrant for Batchelor the next day; he was arrested on the warrant Friday night.

Batchelor is in custody in lieu of $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 17.