A Penn Township man is facing charges after police said his two children were passengers in the car during an alleged road-rage confrontation and hit-and-run last week.
According to police, 45-year-old William Berry was driving on School Road South in Murrysville on Oct. 16 around 8 p.m.
Mark Popovic told detectives that he flashed his lights at Berry, who he said was driving slowly and swerving, in an effort to wake him up or alert him.
“He was swerving in people’s yard and he was in the other lane of oncoming traffic,” Popovic said.
According to Popovic, he eventually pulled off the road and Berry rear-ended him.
“That's when I heard him floor it and he slammed into the back of my car. That's when I was thinking, ‘It’s go time. This guy is nuts. He just rear-ended me on purpose,’” Popovic said.
Police said both drivers got out of their cars and confronted each other. Popovic said he then noticed there were kids in Berry’s car.
“I physically jumped into his car and tried to grab the keys out if the ignition and then he floored the vehicle and I had to jump out if the way backwards because his door was still open,” Popovic said.
The criminal complaint said Popovic wrote down Berry’s license plate number and reported the incident to police.
“It was a little nuts. I was fearing for my life at first,” Popovic said.
Authorities tracked Berry to a Penn Township home. Two children in the home, an 8-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, told officers that they “were in the car with their father and a guy cut them off. There was some yelling and then their father hit his vehicle with theirs and they were crying,” according to the complaint.
Popovic then identified Berry as his attacker, and police said Berry “admitted making a mistake” as he was being taken to Forbes Regional Hospital for a blood draw.
Berry told police he was involved in the incident but said he didn't strike the other vehicle.
Berry was arraigned on Friday on attempted aggravated assault while driving under the influence and related charges and is free on $10,000 unsecured bond.
Berry faces charges of attempted aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, resisting arrest, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, reckless driving, accidents to attended property, operating a vehicle without insurance, three counts of reckless endangerment and two counts each of driving under the influence and child endangerment.
A preliminary hearing before District Judge Charles Conway is scheduled for Tuesday.
Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.