Man sentenced for pulling gun in traffic dispute

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SANDPOINT — A Ponderay man accused of pulling a gun on a fellow motorist during a traffic dispute last summer was given a suspended jail sentence on Tuesday, court records show.

Kit C. Crider was charged with exhibiting a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor, following the confrontation on Eastgate Drive on Aug. 8, 2017.

A couple told Ponderay Police they were nearly struck by Crider’s sport utility vehicle at the four-way stop at Bonner Mall Way and Eastgate. The male half of the couple believed they were at fault in the near-collision and gestured apologetically.

While waiting for a train to pass through the railroad crossing on Eastgate, the couple said Crider pulled his vehicle closely to theirs and berated them, according to a probable cause affidavit. The couple continued to apologize, but it did not mollify Crider, prompting the female half of the couple to suggest that Crider “let it go,” the affidavit said.

Crider, the couple said, swore at the woman, which prompted her husband to get out of the vehicle and confront Crider about his remarks.

Accounts of what happened next diverge somewhat, according to court documents. The couple said Crider pointed the gun at the male’s face. Crider disputed that account, telling police that he drew the semiautomatic pistol and raised it in the air to demonstrate that he was armed, the affidavit said.

Although Crider maintained that he did not threaten the man, the police affidavit indicates Crider acknowledged he had made a mistake during the altercation.

Crider, 60, appeared during a pretrial conference in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty. Judge Tera Harden imposed a 30-day sentence with the entirety of the term suspended, court records show. He was fined $300 and placed on probation for six months.

Crider can qualify for a withheld judgment if he successfully completes the terms of his probation, court records indicate.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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