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Federal jury convicts Madras man in Hwy. 26 road rage


A federal jury in Portland has found Dat Quoc Do, 28, of Madras, guilty of two counts of unlawful use of a weapon for firing several shots during a road rage altercation on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in September 2017.

“There is simply no excuse for this sort of violence in our community. Mr. Do’s actions are very serious and could have critically injured or killed an innocent motorist,” Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, said Monday in a U.S. Department of Justice news release after Friday’s verdict.

“The jury clearly saw this case for what it is: an egregious and preventable overreaction to an otherwise ordinary event on the highway,” Williams added.

“These acts are shocking. Handguns are not video games and this is not a movie,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “By shooting towards another car, Mr. Do put lives in danger and traumatized the occupants including a child inside the vehicle.”

The jury deliberated for about an hour before reaching its verdict, according to The Oregonian/Oregon Live.

The newspaper quoted Do as saying he fired shots in the air out the passenger window of a white Honda Accord his girlfriend was driving as they headed home from Portland that Labor Day weekend after a Ford Focus pulled out in front of them, drove in front of them at slow speed and someone in the Focus threw a bottle at the Accord’s windshield.

Do said he didn’t intend to harm the occupants and only wanted to scare them.

According to court documents and information shared during trial, on Sept. 14, 2017, Do was riding in the front passenger seat of a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Thao Bich Tran.

The two were driving at night eastbound on Highway 26 on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation when they came upon another eastbound vehicle being driven by an adult member of the tribe. Also in the second vehicle were the driver’s adult daughter and 12-year-old niece.

Prosecutors said Tran was tailgating the vehicle when the other driver motioned for her to pass. At some point in the encounter, the other driver’s adult daughter threw a water bottle at, but did not hit Tran and Do’s vehicle.

In response, Do fired several shots out the front passenger window of their vehicle, but did not hit the other driver’s vehicle, authorities said.

After the initial shooting, Tran raised the passenger window and continued to the follow the other vehicle. When Tran had a clear lane to pass, she moved to change lanes.

As Tran began to overtake the other vehicle, Do extended his hand holding a handgun out of their vehicle’s front passenger window. Believing that Do was pointing the gun in her direction, the other driver rapidly applied her brakes. Do fired several additional rounds as Tran drove away.

The other driver called Warm Springs Tribal Police to report the incident while continuing to follow Tran and Do’s vehicle. A patrol officer later stopped their vehicle and ordered Tran and Do out at gunpoint. Both were taken into custody, authorities said.

Officers recovered a Springfield Armory XD .45 caliber handgun in the front-passenger door pocket of the vehicle and a .45 caliber magazine partially loaded with five rounds in the center console.

Do faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He will be sentenced on Monday, June 10, before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Warm Springs Tribal Police Department and prosecuted by Paul T. Maloney and Lewis S. Burkhart, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

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