A Damascus man facing aggravated assault charges after allegedly firing off at least one round during a road rage incident earlier this month has pleaded not guilty in the matter.
Braden Pace McMillen, 23, was formally charged with aggravated assault and possession of a controlled substance following a road rage case reported to Faulkner County Sheriff's Office deputies on April 5.
According to an affidavit, authorities were alerted around 10 p.m. April 5 of "a road rage incident in progress with [a] possible shot fired" after the alleged victim said the driver of a white truck began acting aggressively as the two were driving along Pickles Gap Road and turning onto Highway 65.
The alleged victims told police that as they drove on Pickles Gap Road they heard what they believed sounded like gunfire just before "they heard something hit the truck" they were in.
As the two vehicles headed into Greenbrier city limits, Cpl. Billy Cockrell pulled up behind the suspect vehicle because he noticed it "was driving very aggressive [and] following too close to the vehicle in front of it."
Cockrell opted to pull over the vehicle at the Gulf Gas Station off Highway 65. According to a report, McMillen refused to comply with officers initially but soon admitted to shooting of a firearm.
"I advised McMillen that he had his bright lights on and appeared to be driving very aggressive," Cockrell wrote in his report. "McMillen denied having any road rage incident or having a weapon, however, shortly after, admitted there was a weapon and he did fire it, but not at anyone, just up in the air."
FCSO Investigator Eric Woodward pulled in behind Cockrell and other Greenbrier officers. After detaining the 23-year-old, he questioned McMillen about what caused the alleged victim to call authorities. McMillen allegedly told authorities he "fired his handgun into the air" because he thought the complainant was "trying to block him" in, according to the affidavit.
When officers asked where the firearm in question was, McMillen directed them to a location between two seats. He also admitted there was a pipe and a "bag of dope" in his vehicle, the affidavit states.
Among other items in the vehicle were "several long knives and a hand axe."
Police seized the Taurus .22 caliber revolver as evidence, adding that four of its eight rounds "were already fired." The affidavit also states authorities found the pipe, 1.2 grams of suspected meth, two knives, an axe and a vape pen with THC liquid in it.
Online records show the 23-year-old has since posted bond.
McMillen was scheduled to appear before Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. on April 29 for a plea and arraignment hearing. However, attorney Frank Shaw, who represents McMillen, filed a waiver of his appearance and pleaded not guilty Friday on his client's behalf.