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La Pine man arrested in Hwy. 97 road rage assault


A 25-year-old La Pine man was arrested Tuesday morning, accused of a road rage incident on Highway 97 south of Bend in which he allegedly rear-ended a car, then punched the other driver several times in the face, Oregon State Police reported.

OSP received a report around 5:40 a.m. of the road rage incident, said Captain Bill Fugate.

A preliminary investigation found a man at the wheel of a 2015 Chevy pickup was driving aggressively and tailgating other drivers heading north on Highway 97 near milepost 146 and the Lava Butte ODOT weigh scales, Fugate said.

A short time later, the pickup rear-ended a 1999 Honda Civic, which sustained minor damage.

Both drivers pulled onto the highway shoulder and the pickup driver, later identified as Brandon T. Kern, allegedly charged the Honda’s driver, punching him several times in the face, Fugate said.

Kern is then accused of leaving the scene without exchanging information, as required by law after a crash involving property damage.

The Honda driver, a 24-year-old Sunriver man OSP did not identify, received minor injuries from the assault, Fugate said.

Kern was located at his workplace and subsequently arrested and booked into the Deschutes County Jail in Bend on charges of fourth-degree assault and menacing. Jail officials said he arrived around 8 a.m. and was released on his own recognizance less than 90 minutes later.

Fugate said more charges are possible, pending completion of the investigation. Anyone who witnessed the Highway 97 incident was asked to call OSP at 503-375-3555.

More information will be released as it becomes available, Fugate said.

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