A Centralia man has pleaded not guilty after allegedly shooting at a vehicle that drove through flood water in front of his house in the 4800 block of Galvin Road on Friday.
The defendant, Jerome Victor Fultz-Jaeger, 41, was arrested around 3:45 p.m. on Jan. 7 after the alleged victim reported the incident to police.
According to the victim, he had been driving in a Subaru Outback with one passenger to his father’s house to deliver groceries on Friday and drove around a “road closed” sign on Galvin Road north of the intersection with River Heights Road. He said he observed another vehicle crossing the water at a slow speed, and he “sped up to go around the vehicle to avoid getting stuck,” according to court documents.
He reported seeing a group of people in front of a residence who “yelled at him as he passed.”
One of those people was Fultz-Jaeger, who later told detectives he was standing outside his house trying to prevent people from driving down Galvin Road, but “vehicles had been driving around the barricade all day and had no business being in the area,” according to court documents. He had seen the Subaru “driving fast through the water, causing the water to spray.”
After dropping off the groceries, the victim reported he began driving back when Fultz-Jaeger “stopped him and pointed an AR-15 in his face,” according to court documents.
Fultz-Jaeger told detectives he was armed with his rifle “because he was worried about people burglarizing his evacuated home.”
Fultz-Jaeger reportedly yelled at the victim for driving around the barricade, to which the victim reportedly replied, “F—k you, what are you going to do, shoot me over this?” Fultz-Jaeger then said, “people get shot over less.”
The victim reported he then drove away from Fultz-Jaeger and then, as he approached the end of the water-covered roadway, “he heard something hit the back of his vehicle and immediately thought he had been shot at.”
The victim observed a bullet hole in his rear tail light and called 911, according to court documents.
A detective observed the bullet hole in the victim’s vehicle and contacted Fultz-Jaeger, who allegedly admitted to “firing a couple of rounds towards the vehicle.”
Fultz-Jaeger has since been charged with two counts of first-degree assault, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
His bail has been set at $250,000.