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Family Members Dispute Road Rage Accusations In Fort Collins

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CONTEST
(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Four members of a Fort Collins family have been arrested for road rage and are facing charges of harassment and false imprisonment of an at-risk adult.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Elizabeth and Taft Hill in Fort Collins. The arrests over the weekend followed a long investigation. The family members told CBS4’s Nina Sparano they were just trying to do the right thing.

The Harness family says it’s not a case of road rage at all, rather they were trying to get who they thought was a drunk driver off the road. When they attempted to pull the man over in a parking lot they say the driver pulled a knife.

“When he turned on Taft Hill he was driving back and forth … we thought he was either sick or intoxicated,” Henry Harness said.

Faced with multiple charges involving road rage, the Harness family says they were just doing the right thing.

“I explained it wasn’t road rage. We were concerned about his well-being, whether he was drunk, sick, or if he was going to hurt somebody, because he swerved at my car,” Kerri Harness said.

On July 13 police say a 70-year-old man driving a pickup truck was boxed in by three Harness family cars and was forced to pull over at a King Soopers parking lot.

“He told us that he had displayed a knife while he was seated inside of his vehicle after a number of parties approached his vehicle,” Officer Matt Johnson with Fort Collins Police said.

The Harness family told police they thought the driver was drunk. Two weeks later arrests warrants were issued for Henry, Kerri, Mandy and Meloni Harness and Steffin Boxford. All five are facing multiple misdemeanor charges.

Police know the Harness family. Some of them have been arrested in the past. In fact, Henry Harness says his son claims was beat up while in Fort Collins police custody. The family says their arrests are the result of retaliation of an out-of-court settlement.

“My son ended up with a settlement by the city of Fort Collins because of the incident that he went through and we feel they are retaliating against us,” Henry Harness said.

“I’m not aware of anything along those lines,” Johnson said.

Fort Collins police say it’s simply a case of road rage

“We felt that there was probable cause to charge these folks involved with several misdemeanor crimes involving harassment and a crime against an at-risk adult.

The driver of the pickup isn’t facing any charges.

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