MERIDIAN, Idaho — Meridian police have arrested a man after a traffic misunderstanding turned physical Tuesday night in Meridian.
On Wednesday, Meridian police arrested Walter Gage Anderson, 36, who's accused of beating up another man after a road rage incident. He's charged with misdemeanor battery after police said beat up another man for allegedly cutting him off in traffic.
Len Anderson was driving home from work, like always. Everything seemed normal.
Until he turned off Eagle Road onto Presidential Drive.
Based on dashcam video from his car, Len Anderson was headed straight through a small business subdivision. He went around a car that was stopped to turn left and continued straight. A white Hyundai coming from the other direction was signaling to turn left in front of him as he continued straight.
Len Anderson said there was no close call or anything, and he didn’t even know there was something wrong. So he continued home.
Once he got home, he got out of his car and went to get the mail when he noticed a white Hyundai pass his house.
“I thought, ‘Well, that’s kind of a weird coincidence. I wonder if it’s the same car I just passed.’ ”
But Len Anderson just kept walking toward his mailbox. Then he saw the same white Hyundai turn around, come back and stop at his home.
A woman was driving, and Walter Anderson got out of the passenger side of the Hyundai. He started taking pictures of Len Anderson, his house and his car. Len Anderson said the other man was also yelling about how he had been cut off.
“My mistake at that time is I should have went inside the house and called the cops. I didn’t,” he said.
Len Anderson decided to take pictures of his own, taking one of the other man and also trying to get his license plate. But he said the guy was in his face.
“Finally I yelled, 'Get away from me,' and I went like that to push him away,” he said.
That’s when things escalated.
“He punched me in the face, the shoulder, I can’t remember which was hit first," Len Anderson said. "But he punched me in the face and then I fell to the ground, curled up and then he just kept punching me right on the top of the head about 20 times and finally his wife yells at him ‘to get in the car, we’re going’ and he got off me and left."
He called 911 and turned the case over to Meridian police.
Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea said watching the video, Len Anderson was not in the wrong.
“He was following the correct traffic procedures,” Basterrechea said. “I think he may have sped up a little bit at the intersection but he definitely had the right of way.”
Basterrechea said in cases like this, no matter who might be right or wrong, there’s no excuse for violence.
“It’s really not even about the right-of-way rules. It’s about common courtesy,” Basterrechea said. “You don’t know who you’re dealing with in that other vehicle. No reason to try and get in a physical confrontation with anybody. No reason to get angered. Your anger isn’t going to change their behavior.”
Len Anderson said his advice for people in that situation is just to walk away.
Basterrechea said if you have a similar problem, or you see someone driving illegally, try and get a license plate number and report it to police. Let officers handle it.
Basterrechea said don’t try to track down or confront the driver yourself because you don’t know if the person is dangerous or not.
Walter Anderson is also facing charges for a felony agent's warrant from Idaho State Probation and Parole.