BY SHARON COOLIDGE • SCOOLIDGE@ENQUIRER.COM • DECEMBER 17, 2009
HARRISON TOWNSHIP – A 35-year-old Harrison man accused of attacking a man with a hammer during a road rage incident Wednesday on Harrison Avenue told his lawyer “he just snapped.”
Brian Clark said he had just lost his job after his company ACT sales closed its doors for the last time Tuesday. So when William Scudder beeped his horn at him, he lost it, Clark explained further.
“This is a product of the economy,” Clark’s lawyer, Hugh McCloskey Jr., said during an arraignment hearing Thursday morning.
Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Betsy Sundermann didn’t buy that argument, telling the judge “This was a road rage incident. They were strangers.”
Clark is facing charges of aggravated assault and criminal damaging in the 3:40 p.m. incident.
“You don’t go around hitting people with hammers because the economy is bad,” said Scudder, a 51-year-old long-distance truck driver who was coming home after two weeks on the road. “We’re all under pressure.”
Scudder, who was less than two miles from his home, said he did everything he could to de-escalate the situation, but that Clark, “meant to do harm to me and my vehicle.”
“I could have whipped him, but I chose not to,” Scudder said. “I wasn’t scared, just tired from being out of the road.
“I wanted to go home,” Scudder added.
Scudder said he and Clark, who was in a yellow Monte Carlo, were driving on Harrison Avenue when they came up on a crash in which a Cadillac had rear-ended a car. Clark stopped, talking to the people in the crash, Scudder said.
“I was sitting there and sitting there, so I tooted my air horn,” Scudder said. “That was enough, that set him off.”
Scudder said Clark came up the side of the truck and tried to pull him out of the cab, but wasn’t strong enough. Scudder said he weighs 290 pounds, to Clark’s 150 pounds.
That’s when Clark went back to his car and got the claw hammer, Scudder said.
An incident report says Clark hit one of the truck’s headlight rings with a hammer and kicked the grill. Then Clark hit Scudder in the arm with the hammer, leaving a red mark, according to court records.
Scudder said when Clark hit the truck, he got out of the cab and tried to stop him from damaging the truck.
When Clark realized he was no match for the bigger man, he fled in his car, Scudder said. Deputies tracked him to his home, arresting Clark two hours later.
“I just wanted to go home, play with my dogs, and talk on my CB, you know, hillbilly stuff,” Scudder said.
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