EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 4, 2012

Husband, wife charged after road rage incident


The victim then took a left at the Tobacco Shack near the corner of Routes 1 and 133. Angered by his alleged aggresive driving, police said William Kotowski turned around and entered the parking lot where he encountered the man. His wife soon followed. The man allegedly walked right up to William Kotowski’s van and began screaming at him while waving his arms. Fearing for his safety, Kotowski told police he drew his handgun and placed it in his lap. The man told police that Kotowski not only drew his weapon, but aimed it right at his face, according to police.

Following the altercation, William Kotowski left the scene in his van and drove to his house. As May approached the residence, Rowley police Officer David MacMullen contacted Kotowski via cell phone and ordered him to exit his house unarmed where he would be met by May. Drawing his weapon, May ordered Kotowski to walk backward to the center of the yard and kneel down. May then handcuffed the suspect and placed him in the back of his cruiser.

A search of the suspect’s house uncovered a Mossberg 20-gauge shotgun on the floor of a closet and .380 Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun. The handgun used in the alleged assault, a Walther 9mm semi-automatic handgun, was found in a kitchen counter, according to May’s report.

Following her husband’s arrest, Joanna Kotowski, who had arrived at their house during the arrest, became so enraged that the other driver also wasn’t arrested that she drove back to the Tobacco Shack and confronted him, leading to the charges against her. The man was not charged, according to Barker.

Barker said Friday’s incident highlights how road rage can almost instantaneously boil over to the point where people’s lives are threatened, if not worse. Should someone encounter an aggresive driver, Barker said to avoid confrontation at all costs and call police instead.

‘If you have a problem, call police. That’s what we’re here for,” Barker said.

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