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NC Episcopal priest in red Corvette pulled gun during road rage, Florida troopers say

NC Episcopal priest in red Corvette pulled gun during road rage, Florida troopers say

CBS Newspath
July 9, 2017

STUART, Fla. Road rage, a gun, a priest and a red Corvette.

Those are words that don't seem to go together.

But that's exactly what Florida Highway Patrol Troopers say was involved when a North Carolina priest was arrested Wednesday.

William Adams, 35, a priest from Fletcher in the North Carolina mountains, is facing two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

WPEC-TV reported that Adams is a priest at Calvary Episcopal Church. The TV station also reported that Adams began there in September 2016 after he spent 10 years in the military as a chaplain before a helicopter accident injury forced him into retirement.

The Florida Highway Patrol says the night of July 5, Father Adams pulled his red Corvette in front of a pickup truck -- and started hitting the brakes.

Troopers say the truck tried to pass him.

That's when they say Adams pulled out a gun and pointed it at the truck.

"You would think that being of the cloth, we would have better control. Just kinda comical but sad in the same sense," said motorist Kevin Brown, who was driving on the Florida Turnpike from Palm Coast.

Troopers say Adams told them the truck pulled alongside him -- and started yelling and screaming -- and threw a soda at his car.

"I think it's kinda weird, because I wouldn't expect a priest to be the angry one," said Dori Angel, another Turnpike motorist.

Adams says he never pulled out his gun, a Glock 22, according to a report.

Adams was released on $15,000 bond.


911 call released in Episcopal priest road rage case

Al Pefley
July 11, 2017

MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA -- Highway horror!

For the first time, we're hearing a dramatic road rage incident play out in a panicked 911 call.
A mother and her son tell cbs12 they were terrified for their lives July 5 when a priest in a red corvette pulled up and pointed a gun right in their faces.

Dispatcher: "911. Fire, police or ambulance?
Caller: We're on the Turnpike. This guy in a red Corvette slammed his brakes in front of us and we pulled up to him and I said what are you doing? And he pointed a gun at me.

A woman and her son couldn't believe their eyes when she says they were staring down the barrel of a gun on the Turnpike last week in Martin County.

Troopers say the guy who was waving the gun around---threatening the mother and her son in a pickup truck---was a priest, William Rian Adams, 35, a priest at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, North Carolina.

Dispatcher: Pointed a gun at you?
Caller: Yes. He held it up in the air and he started cursing me and everything else.

According to the woman, Father Adams pulled his red 2014 Corvette in front of her pickup truck in the left lane of the Turnpike northbound near Stuart, slammed on the brakes, and then Adams drove back over into the right lane.

As Adams pulled even with her pickup truck, she says Adams pulled a gun. She rolled down her window and tried to ask what he was doing.

Caller: It's him and some girl in the car. And I just asked, I said why did you slam on the brakes? And he cursed me and everything and then he just pulled this gun out.
Dispatcher: Okay. Did you see a tag number on his vehicle?
Caller: No I couldn't. He won't let us get close to him. He's just zoomin' up the road.

Troopers stopped Father Adams a few miles later the Turnpike where he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Troopers say they found a Glock handgun in the priest's car.

Road rage victim Sharon Hughes of St. Cloud, FL CBS12 by phone quote: "We didn't do anything wrong. I just don't understand what on earth he was thinking. He just pulled up and cut us off. I would really love to know why."

We called Father Adam's church, his attorney, and the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina---which oversees his church. None of our calls were returned. Father Adams is now free on bond.


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