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RICHFIELD — A man whom prosecutors say rammed into and then shot at a couple driving near Richfield before later attempting to stab a health care provider with a syringe, is due back in court Monday.
Robert L. Meeks Jr., 38, of Sacramento, California, was charged May 8 in 6th District Court in Wayne County with three counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; illegal discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony; possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; and leaving the scene of an accident, a class C misdemeanor.
Meeks is also charged in 6th District Court in Sevier County with two counts of assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony; and attempted escape, a class A misdemeanor, for allegedly attacking a hospital worker after being arrested for the alleged road rage incident, according to court documents.
The violent series of events began on May 5, when a Grand Junction, Colorado, couple traveling on state Route 24 spotted a green Ford Ranger pickup that was "all over the road," according to charging documents.
The Colorado driver passed the pickup to try and get away from it, the charges state. But 10 miles later, the couple saw the pickup coming up very quickly behind them, the charges state.
The husband "told his wife to brace for impact, that the driver of the Ford pickup was 'flying and going to hit us.' The small green Ford pickup rammed their vehicle from behind," according to the charges.
The couple then "saw the driver of the small ford pickup point a gun out his driver side window at them. They believed he was shooting at them. They told dispatch they were traveling at around 100 miles per hour to keep away from the other vehicle," court documents state.
When the couple reached a gas station in Hanksville, they quickly ran inside for safety, something later confirmed by store video surveillance, the charges state.
A Wayne County sheriff's deputy later stopped Meeks and arrested him. As he was being taken into custody, another man pulled up and told detectives he witnessed Meeks shooting at the other couple. The man also said one of those bullets actually hit his car as he was parked along the side of the road to take pictures, the charges state.
When detectives later interviewed Meeks, he said he shot at the couple because "he thought they shot at him," according to charging documents.
After his arrest, Meeks was taken to Sevier Valley Hospital. According to charges in the second case filed against him, after troopers removed Meeks' handcuffs so a lab technician could draw blood to determine if Meeks was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, "Without warning Robert grabs the needle that (the lab tech) is trying to use … and tries to stab (the lab tech)," the charges state.
Meeks also attempted to stab a Utah Highway Patrol trooper in the room who grabbed the lab tech and backed out of the room with him, according to charging documents. The trooper then used his Taser on Meeks, the charges state, which allowed other troopers nearby to "pounce" on Meeks and "bring him under control," the charges state.