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A man who allegedly involved in a road rage incident Feb. 25 in the Smith’s parking lot made his first appearance in magistrate court Tuesday. The suspect, Thomas Moore, 22, of Las Cruces, is accused of pulling a knife on the driver of the other car involved.
Moore was charged with one count of aggravated assault at the scene. Tuesday, he told judge Pat Casados he had yet to obtain a lawyer. His second appearance, where it will be decided if the case goes on to district court, will be later this May.
According to Moore, it was the other driver who was being the aggressor. He told police that the driver, upon his approach to the Smith’s parking lot, drove up close behind him with his high beams on. As a result, Moore began to drive very slowly. When they parked next to each other in front of Bealls Department store, that’s when the trouble began.
Moore claimed to police the other driver got out of his car and approached him in an aggressive manner. The driver, meanwhile, told police he was only going over to apologize for his bright lights, that they weren’t set high, that’s just how they look normally.
Moore said that’s when he showed the driver his folding knife, with the blade closed. The driver claimed Moore threatened him with an open knife, telling the driver he was going to “gut” him a couple of times. That’s when the driver got back in his car, exited the lot and called police.