Motorist accused of road-rage sword attack to stand trial

By From page A8 | January 15, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A motorist on Interstate 80 accused of trying to stab, jab, slash and hack another car with a Samurai sword was ordered to stand trial on a pair of felony assault charges and a misdemeanor charge of brandishing a weapon.

Tristan J. Quilter, 32, did not testify at his probable cause hearing Monday, but when he was arrested alongside the freeway on the afternoon of Jan. 27, 2013, he told California Highway Patrol officers he acted in self-defense. Quilter has previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.

CHP officers testified that the sword-wielding road-rage began on westbound I-80 near Davis and continued into Solano County as Quilter and the driver of another car engaged in a series of near misses, swerving, speeding and braking on the highway.

The other motorist told CHP officers the exchanges began when he had tapped his brakes a few times as Quilter was tailgating him. The exchanges continued and a panicked 911 call from the other car included a CHP dispatcher warning the motorist not to pull over for Quilter. The exchange ended when Quilter abruptly swerved his car at the other car and hit his brakes, causing the other car to swerve, crashing into a passing pickup truck near the Lagoon Valley Road offramp, according to CHP officer testimony.

Quilter was stopped a short time after the crash at the Cordelia truck scales where CHP officers seized Quilter’s sword after he told them he knew tae kwon do and jujitsu and knew how to defend himself, according to testimony at the hearing.

Quilter is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 28.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

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