Cape Girardeau Police have now identified the man who allegedly punched another driver in a fit of road rage.
Thirty-two year old Nicolas Raudin of Cape Girardeau will face an assault charge in Cape Girardeau’s municipal court, after allegedly punching Marilyn Zeller, also of Cape Girardeau.
A witness watched the incident happen on Tuesday afternoon, wrote down the license plate number of Raudin's blue mini-van, and called police. Marilyn Zeller tells Heartland News that she didn't have a chance to get the license number herself, but when she told police what happened to her, they were able to connect it with the other report.
Both the witness and Marilyn Zeller claim that after Zeller pulled out of the Hardee's on William Street, Nicolas Raudin drove up fast behind her. Zeller tells Heartland News that she realized the driver behind her was angry, and she changed lanes to get out of his way, but apparently not soon enough. According to the two reports, Raudin then forced Zeller's car off the road. When she halfway rolled down her window to say something, he reached in and punched her in the face! Zeller says the only thing she remembers the man saying is "Don't do that again." She was shaken up by the incident, but otherwise uninjured.
Heartland News was not able to reach Nicolas Raudin for comment. He is actually a French citizen, who moved to Cape Girardeau earlier this year to help build the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. Raudin works for Freyssinet, a French company that's providing the cable system for the bridge.
Right now, Nicolas Raudin is set to face his assault charge in Cape Girardeau's municipal court on January 7th. According to Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle, the city court decided to handle the case primarily because Zeller didn't sustain any real physical injuries. If convicted in municipal court, Raudin could face up to ninety days in jail, but the charge would not go on his criminal record.
However, Swingle tells Heartland News that he thinks a case of road rage warrants more serious measures. He plans to talk to the assistant city attorney early next week, in an attempt to move the charge to Cape Girardeau County Court where it would be prosecuted by the state.