Jail officer charged in alleged road-rage incident

A newly hired Pierce County corrections officer has been put on administrative leave after he was accused of pulling a loaded gun during an alleged road-rage incident in King County.

Prosecutors charged Yury Nijnik, 28, with second-degree assault in connection with the Jan. 25 incident. He is to be arraigned Tuesday at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Prosecutors allege Nijnik pulled a gun and pointed it at three people. Court documents give this account:

Nijnik was driving on First Avenue South near South 160th Street when he cut off another car. The other driver honked his horn and Nijnik made an obscene hand gesture at him.

The two cars drove on and stopped at the traffic light at South 146th Street. When the light turned green, the other car rolled back slightly and tapped Nijnik’s bumper.

The people in the car told investigators that Nijnik pulled up alongside them and pointed a handgun at them. Nijnik then cut the car off and forced it into a turn lane.

The two cars stopped and Nijnik, the gun in his waistband, walked to the other car and put his corrections identification card on the windshield. Nijnik then called 911 on his cell phone. The deputies who responded found the gun in Nijnik’s waistband.

He told them his car had been rammed three times and that he’d stopped the other driver. Deputies found no visible damage to his car.

He denied pointing a gun at the other car and said he’d put the gun – his personal weapon – into the glove box before getting out of his car. He had no answer when asked why deputies found him carrying the gun.

Deputies arrested Nijnik because of the allegations that he’d pointed a loaded gun at the three people in the other car.

Nijnik, a corrections officer at the Pierce County Jail, was put on unpaid leave the night of his arrest, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. Nijnik has been with the department for six months and was on probation.

The department is conducting an administrative investigation.

source: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/617078.html

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