MISSOULA - A man is being held pending several possible charges following a road rage incident.
The Missoula Police Department reports Manuel Fisher is being held on charges of Assault with A Weapon, Arson, Criminal Mischief, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
According to a social media post, on Sept. 6, a Missoula police officer responded to a report of a road rage incident. The suspect — later identified as Fisher — had left in his vehicle before officers arrived.
Witnesses and the victim told the responding officer traffic had been stopped for a passing train and that Fisher was among those who had stopped.
Fisher then turned his vehicle around and stopped in the middle of the road. Unprovoked, Fisher got out of his vehicle and approached the victim’s vehicle, according to Missoula Police.
Fisher hit the victim’s vehicle with a baseball bat hard enough to shatter the glass which went inside the victim’s vehicle. The victim drove away to end the baseball bat attack.
Witnesses provided pictures of Fisher's truck and license plate to the responding officers and provided statements.
Two hours later, 9-1-1 received calls reporting Fisher had tried to start a fire within Buffalo Wild Wings and was attempting to run over an employee in the parking lot.
One of the victims reported while working they observed a fire and attempts were made to put the fire out. While trying to put the fire out, customers pointed to Fisher who ran out of Buffalo Wild Wings, got into a vehicle, and was seen driving away.
The victim went into the parking lot and saw the vehicle pulling away and stepped further outside to see which direction Fisher was driving and called 911.
Missoula Police report Fisher saw the victim and circled back into the parking lot and accelerated towards the victim at a speed causing the vehicle to tip to the side.
The victim ran and hid between cars. Fisher circled the parking lot, located the victim hiding between cars and got out of his vehicle with a baseball bat.
Fisher chased the victim with the baseball bat. An employee tackled Fisher and was able to get the baseball bat away from Fisher. Fisher once again fled in his vehicle.
While officers were on scene investigating the incident, additional officers observed a backpack on the carpet which had melted into the carpet and contained a 20-ounce green soda bottle with a cloth rag sticking out of it. The bottle and carpet smelled strongly of gasoline.
A witness had observed Fisher throw the flaming backpack at an employee. The backpack hit the employee’s chest and landed on the employee’s foot.
Officers located Fisher’s vehicle and took Fisher into custody without further incident. No major physical injuries were reported.
The case remains under investigation.