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Hatchet-wielding man arrested in Wallingford road rage incident: Police

When they arrived, police found the suspect swinging a hatchet at other people.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — Police arrested a man they said was swinging a hatchet following a road rage incident at a flea market Saturday.

Charles Smith, 33, of West Haven, was charged with assault 3rd degree, breach of peace 2nd degree (2 counts), reckless endangerment 1st degree (2 counts), and illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle. Bond was placed at $2,500 and he is scheduled to appear in court September 9.

At 12:03 p.m. police were called to the Redwood Flea Market at 170 South Turnpike Road for a fight in the roadway. When they arrived, they found the suspect swinging a hatchet at other people. 

RELATED: Motorcycle crash leaves Wallingford resident dead

Police said Smith was standing in the roadway, attempting to confront a victim while holding a hatchet in hand. The officer immediately ordered Smith to drop the hatchet and to get on the ground. Smith dropped the hatchet but did not comply with other commands. 

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The officer was able to handcuff Smith. Police said Smith was backing into the roadway on South Turnpike Road into oncoming traffic. A motorist beeped their horn at Smith as he was backing up which made him irate. Smith drove his car around the victim’s car, slammed on the brakes, got out and ran towards the victim and pulled the victim out of his car leading to a physical altercation. 

RELATED: West Hartford man arrested in road rage, pistol-whipping

The victim was able to stop the fight, according to police. But then Smith went into the trunk of his car and got a hatchet and started to swing it at the victim. Another victim tried to disarm Smith, but could not and Smith started to swing the hatchet at the second victim as well. Police said Smith drove off at a high rate of speed only to return to try and start to fight again. By then responding officers arrived and were able to arrest Smith.

Police urged citizens to use caution on the roads and to try to avoid incidents like this one. "If you see someone committing multiple traffic violations, or trying to engage you or others in a road rage incident, it’s safer to call police and to let us handle it rather than trying to handle the situation on your own." said police in a release.

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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