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Man arrested in road rage shooting; UHP slams increasing number of incidents

By Rob Nielsen - | Jun 22, 2023

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Col. Michael Rapich of the Utah Highway Patrol addresses a press conference Thursday, June 22, 2023, about the arrest of a suspect in a road rage shooting incident that occurred June 5, 2023, on Interstate 15 near the Layton Hills Mall.

Utah authorities are aiming to raise awareness of the danger posed by road rage incidents on the heels of the arrest of a suspect in a June shooting on Interstate 15 that left a teenager severely wounded.

In a press release distributed Thursday morning, the Utah Department of Public Safety announced the arrest of Daniel Bodon, who allegedly shot at another motorist on June 5 while traveling north on I-15 near the Layton Hills Mall. A press conference was held later Thursday to discuss the incident, the arrest and the danger posed by road rage.

During the press conference, Col. Michael Rapich of the Utah Highway Patrol detailed the circumstances of the Layton case.

“In this particular incident, there was an altercation that took place between two vehicles,” he said. “This altercation culminated with one of the vehicles — a motorcycle with a driver and a rider on it — firing shots into the other vehicle and ultimately striking the driver of that other vehicle, an 18-year-old female.”

The victim was able to exit the interstate and drive to the home of a friend who then transported her to the hospital, where she was treated for serious, non-life-threatening injuries.

Rapich said the incident sparked an intensive search for the driver of the motorcycle in question, which culminated in Bodon’s arrest Wednesday morning in Weber County.

While partly to detail how the June 5 incident was solved, Thursday’s press conference was also called to bring attention to what officials describe as a rise in road rage incidents.

“We’re incredibly proud of our state troopers and our agents and their efforts and their ability to bring the person involved in this to justice,” Rapich said. “But we really want to bring significant attention to the fact that this is unacceptable behavior. When we’re talking about road rage, the things we’re talking about is we’re talking about direct, aggressive actions while driving on a freeway or driving on a roadway directed at another person or vehicle.”

He said aggressive actions have no place on roadways.

“When we’re talking about things that are happening on the freeway, at no time … is a physical confrontation going to make that better. At no time is brandishing a firearm from a vehicle at another vehicle or another person acceptable or is that going to improve the situation at all.”

According to Rapich, road rage isn’t currently defined in state statute.

“The best place we can actually gather data, because road rage itself isn’t currently defined as a crime — it is defined in crash reporting statistics,” he said. “Over the last six years, between 700-800 different crashes where an investigating officer got on scene, based on all of the information they were able to collect, (they) determined that crash was directly contributed to by road rage or aggressive driving.”

He said in the three years prior to 2020, the state averaged 10-15 fatalities per year in such crashes. From 2020-2022, he said, that average rose to 27 fatalities. Serious injuries reportedly have also risen in these accidents.

Capt. Troy Denney of the State Bureau of Investigation also spoke Thursday about the investigation into the shooting and the tools involved in Bodon’s apprehension, including mapping technology and surveillance footage.

Denney said the incident was alarming because it could happen to any driver for any minor infraction on the road.

“I would dare say there isn’t a single driver on the roads today that hasn’t inadvertently cut somebody off or missed somebody in their blind spot,” he said. “In this particular incident, an 18-year-old driver was seriously injured, and that could’ve been any of our loved ones.”

According to court documents, Bodon, 34, of Roy, was arrested on suspicion of three counts of felony discharge of a firearm and one count of obstruction of justice. The affidavit of probable cause also lists “murder” as a count against him, but when questioned at the press conference, Denney said the actual charge should be “attempted murder.” Formal charges have not yet been filed against him.

According to the affidavit, “the victim sustained two gunshot wounds to the face which required immediate surgery and caused permanent damage and disfigurement to her teeth and lips.” Bodon, the document also states, has affiliations with a motorcycle gang.

Denney said the passenger on the motorcycle, identified only as Bodon’s wife, has been released pending charges.


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