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Madras man gets probation in road rage shooting


(Update: Adding Do’s apology, link to Oregonian story)

A federal judge on Monday sentenced a 28-year-old Madras man to three years probation after a jury convicted him of firing several shots during a 2017 road rage altercation along U.S. Highway 26 on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

According to court documents and information shared during trial, on September 14, 2017, Dat Quoc Do was riding in the front passenger seat of a car driven by his girlfriend.

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 her 12-year-old niece, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Do’s girlfriend was driving aggressively and tailgating the other vehicle for over a mile when the victim motioned for her to pass. At some point in the encounter, the driver’s adult teen daughter threw a water bottle at, but did not hit Do’s vehicle.

In response, prosecutors said, Do fired several shots out the front passenger window of their vehicle, but did not hit the crime victims’ vehicle. After the initial shooting, they said, Do’s girlfriend raised the passenger window and continued to tailgate the other vehicle. When she had a clear lane to pass, Do’s girlfriend moved to change lanes.

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

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

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.

On March 15, Do was convicted by a federal jury in Portland on two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

During Monday’s sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ordered Do to pay $1,158 in restitution to his victims to cover their lost wages during trial preparation and mileage to and from pretrial meetings, trial and sentencing in Portland.

The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported that before sentencing, Do apologized to his victims:

“I know what I did was wrong,” he said through a Vietnamese interpreter. “I’d like to say sorry. I know this has affected your life and I really scared you. I promise I will change and be a good person to the community.”

Victim Lyda Rhoan says she and her daughter and niece were traumatized by the event.

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.

On March 3, 1994, the FBI initiated “Operation Safe Trails” with the Navajo Department of Law Enforcement in Flagstaff, Arizona. The operation, which would later evolve into the Safe Trails Task Force ( STTF ) Program, unites FBI and other federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in a collaborative effort to combat the growth of crime in Indian Country.

STTFs allow participating agencies to combine limited resources and increase investigative coordination in Indian Country to target violent crime, drugs, gangs, and gaming violations.

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