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Racine County Sheriff’s deputies say a man who thought he was being threatened by a tailgating car displayed a handgun to scare the other driver.

James Fiegel was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with one misdemeanor count each of displaying a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and/or up to $11,000 in fines.

Criminal complaint

According to the criminal complaint, passengers on May 8, 2022, were in a Volkswagon behind a grey Honda Fit on I-94 headed southbound when they called 911 to report the driver of the Honda displayed a gun. The driver – later identified as Fiegel – was stopped after he crossed into Kenosha County.

Deputies say the driver of the Volkswagon told them they were driving behind Fiegel when both vehicles entered the on-ramp to the southbound lanes of I-94 at Highway K. The driver said Fiegel slammed on his brakes, causing the driver to veer around him. When the Volkswagon driver pulled even to the Honda Fit, Fiegel accelerated, displayed his gun and pulled back the slide, but he didn’t point the weapon at anyone.

A tale of tailgating

Fiegel told deputies he was driving west on Highway K when the driver of the Volkswagon repeatedly and continuously rode too closely to Fiegel’s rear bumper, the complaint continues. He said that he was behind a slow-moving tractor-trailer as he turned onto the expressway, which is what made him slow down, and the driver of the Volkswagon was so close he could clearly see the driver but not the bumper of the car.

He admitted pulling his weapon from a holster and pulling back the slide in clear view of the tailgating driver in an attempt to scare them off. Deputies say Fiegel also admitted he shouldn’t have done that and he was in the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit.

Fiegel was assigned a $500 signature bond and will next be in court on July 5 for a status conference.

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