The trial of a man accused of repeatedly ramming a teen driver during a road rage-fueled chase through oncoming traffic across Los Alamitos was pushed back to July 19 today.
Bellflower resident Robert Allen Barnhart, 52, faces 11 felony counts including nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon and has pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from the November incident that began when Barnhart was rear-ended in his pick-up truck by an 18-year-old driver in an Isuzu Rodeo on Bloomfield Avenue, according to the Los Alamitos Police Department.
Both men got out of their cars, and Barnhart became livid, according to Los Alamitos Police. Barnhart allegedly chased the other driver and his passenger to a nearby gas station and rear-ended him as the driver pulled into the station. The chase continued as both drivers headed down Bloomfield and then east on Ball Road into Cypress.
According to investigators, Barnhart continued to ram the other driver, sideswiping him and causing the Isuzu to spin into oncoming traffic.
“He turned the victim’s vehicle around so that he was facing west into eastbound traffic lanes,” Captain Bruce McAlpine said at the time of the arrest. “Apparently Barnhart was still not satisfied, and he gave chase again.”
In an effort to evade Barnhart, the teenage driver continued heading west into oncoming traffic. In a fourth and final collision, Barnhart turned his truck into the Isuzu, crashing into it and bringing both vehicles to a stop, said McAlpine.
“Mr. Barnhart got out of his vehicle and pulled the victim out of his vehicle and hit him,” said McAlpine.
Throughout the chase, several witnesses called 911, and police from Los Alamitos and Cypress arrived on the scene to arrest Barnhart.
Barnhart was taken into custody and released on $50,000 bail. While the trial is set for today, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office was unable to confirm if the case would actually begin as scheduled or be pushed back.