On August 31, 2020, Merrilinn Drew, 27, Hunter Riggins, 20, and Michael Hawkins, 37, of North Carolina, pleaded guilty to participating in a “road rage” incident that occurred on April 21, 2020, on Route 4 in Dunkirk.
According to court documents, the occupants of a black Honda Civic were driving at a high rate of speed, tailgating, flashing lights, and driving aggressively. When they reached the stoplight at Route 4 and Ward Road, one of the occupants exited his vehicle and started arguing with the driver of the Honda.
Two occupants of the Honda got out and began fighting with the driver of the Honda, Jacob Tyler Cliff, who entered a guilty plea to Affray on July 8, 2020, in full view of passing motorists. Several drivers stopped and called the police. Another driver got out and broke up the fight.
Drew, Riggins, and Hawkins pleaded guilty to the crime of Affray, which is unlawfully engaging in a fight to the disturbance of the public peace. It is a common-law crime carrying any sentence that is not cruel and unusual. They each received a sentence of 90 days incarceration, suspended, and 1 year of unsupervised probation. As a condition of their probation, they will have to complete 40 hours of Community Service. If they successfully complete probation, they will not have a criminal conviction on their record.
State’s Attorney Robert Harvey prosecuted the case. He stated “We simply cannot permit people to engage in behavior that threatens the safety of other motorists. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in this incident.”